Planning Issue at a Fuel Depot
Our client, an operator of a service station and fuel depot, was grappling with a multi-layered challenge. For numerous years, the depot had been in operation with minimal preventative measures in place to inhibit the escape of fuels and hydrocarbons into the surrounding environment. The issue was further complicated due to the depot’s geographical location, nestled near an infilled historic canal and several sites that potentially added to the contamination. These sites included remnants of historical industries such as dye factories, a brewery, a tannery, and a saw mill, each with its own legacy of potential environmental impact.
The fuel depot eventually attracted the attention of the local planning authority. The authorities demanded that the appropriate planning permissions be secured for the depot’s ongoing operation. In order to resolve this issue, the depot owners reached out to Avada. The call came through their agent, an architect tasked with the responsibility of ensuring that the depot met all the necessary planning and environmental guidelines.
In response to the client’s need, Avada initiated a thorough environmental investigation, starting with an initial Tier 1 survey. This foundational survey was aimed at developing an Initial Conceptual Site Model, a crucial first step in understanding the potential risks and challenges presented by the site. The findings of the Tier 1 survey indicated the need for more detailed exploration, leading to the recommendation of a Tier 2 survey.
Avada’s team of environmental experts took on the task of the Tier 2 survey with a focus on further understanding the environmental complexities of the site. This included the advancement of several boreholes to ascertain the geology and potential contamination of the site. Additionally, a comprehensive gas monitoring programme was initiated, the findings of which were essential in gaining a clearer understanding of the gas regime at the site.
The End Result
These extensive investigations allowed Avada to develop a more comprehensive Conceptual Site Model, a vital tool in understanding the full scope of potential contamination and the measures needed to mitigate it. The findings of the surveys, along with the detailed Conceptual Site Model, were compiled into a comprehensive report. This report not only detailed the environmental challenges of the site but also outlined the appropriate measures needed to mitigate any potential risks.
This report became a cornerstone of a retrospective planning application submitted to the Planning Authority. Avada’s meticulous work paid off; the report was accepted by the Planning Authority, affirming that the depot had the necessary measures in place to minimise environmental impact. Consequently, the Planning Authority granted the appropriate permissions for the depot. Thanks to Avada’s expertise and thorough work, our client was able to continue their operations, now equipped with a comprehensive understanding of their environmental impact and the measures necessary to manage it responsibly.