IPSWICH: Oil supplier scraps depot bid

IPSWICH: Campaigners against a major oil depot being built in the Whitton area of the town have welcomed the news that the plans have been dropped.

Ipswich Borough Council confirmed the withdrawal of an application by heating oil supplier GB Oils. The company had planned to build a new depot behind the B&Q store off Bury Road following the proposed vacation, at the end of this year, of the oil and petrol depot in Landseer Road, which it shares with Vopak.

The application led to protests from local residents and their public representatives.

The future of the Ipswich depot has yet to be decided but residents who were concerned a new oil depot could cause traffic and safety problems will not see a feared increase of between 40 and 70 lorries a day using the Bury Road roundabout.

Petitioners met MP Dr Dan Poulter and local councillors last month to express their concerns.

Ward councillor Michelle Bevan-Margetts responded to the withdrawal of the application, saying: “I’m obviously thrilled. This is a great example of people working together with their elected representatives.

“The Local Development Framework shows the planned building of 167 homes in an area which backs on the proposed depot site, so I will be watching very closely for any future applications.

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“I can’t predict what might happen in the future, but I am happy that common sense has prevailed and the petition has been a success. This is great for people power and proves a co-ordinated approach is the way forward.”

Doreen Dewhurst, a resident of Old Norwich Road who campaigned against the proposals, added: “It is very, very good news.

“We worked hard for this. It was an uphill struggle because so few people knew about the plans.”

The proposed site would have been used for the storage of gasoil, kerosene and diesel, but not flammable and potentially explosive petrol.

A statement from GB Oils said: “GB Oils can confirm that it has withdrawn its planning application for a new oil storage depot at Whitton. The decision was made on a commercial basis following escalating costs to develop the site to the required standards.

“The company are still committed to setting up a new storage depot in the Ipswich area to ensure that its customers receive a first class delivery service. They are currently investigating other options.”

n Are you pleased that the plans have been dropped? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.