Plans approved for IOW depot

Despite objections, Certas Energy’s plans for a new £1.5 million fuel depot on the Isle of Wight have been given the go ahead, with Certas promising to be on the Island “for the long-haul”.

CECAMM on the Island Technology Park site in Whippingham

Councillors on the Isle of Wight granted the fuel firm permission to install three tanks, fencing, parking, flood lights and an office building at the Island Technology Park in Whippingham. Following the closure of Isle of Wight Fuels last year, the Island was left without a main fuel supplier or hub.
Concerns have been raised over the environmental impact and safety of the site, however with concerns over the safety of the students at Priory School being one such issue, with trucks expected to be frequenting the new depot. Paul Williams, a managing director at the firm has assured that traffic movement will be kept at a minimum.
Recently speaking with Isle of Wight Radio, he said: “What you’ll tend to find is that we’ll have the larger trucks to fill the depot itself, that will be done out of hours. Then the drivers would come in the following morning and would all load one after the other and then go out.
“It would be blocks of movement so it’s not all of the time, all throughout the day. At this moment in time, we’re looking at no more than 30 movements (a day) and that is very manageable for us in terms of the location.”
Explaining further why the location on the Island is necessary, as opposed to ferrying fuel from the mainland to the Isle of Wight, Paul Williams continued: “Going forward, what we’re trying to do is put proper infrastructure in place because, with the logistical challenges when you’re having to travel across on ferries and the different mix of fuels we provide, we need to make sure we have fuel available at all times.
“It would only take one or two days of not being able to get across on a ferry before quite quickly you have run-out situations. So we see the benefit for the Island, that we put the infrastructure in place and we ensure then that the contingency stock is always available.”
Further issues raised refer to the flood lights, which the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) said would threaten the Island’s Dark Skies status and called the plans ‘short-sighted’ and ‘aesthetically abhorrent’, given its historical location.
Addressing the concerns, Paul Williams insisted the company is planning for the future: “As we think about the energy transition and where we go, we want to make sure the depot is fit for purpose. So it’s not just for the next five years but it’s 10, 15, 20 years that we can grow and transition with the Island.
“There will be things as part of the energy transition that we don’t know today, but we’ll make sure we work closely with all of the parties including the customers.”
Paul Williams also welcomed competition from a new firm, Solent Fuels, as ‘healthy’. David Grannum, former managing director at Isle of Wight Fuels is said to be behind the new fuel supplier.
We look forward to following Certas Energy’s journey as the new depot beings to materialise.