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Sefton seeks assurances on proposed bitumen facility

Sefton Council is seeking further reassurances through an Environmental Statement from an applicant planning to build a bitumen storage and distribution facility in Bootle.

Sefton’s Planning Team has received a request, under the Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2017, for a Screening Opinion from Starius Bitumen for the facility at Hornby Dock on Regent Road.

While Starious Bitumen contend that their proposed facility is ‘permitted development’ – development that you do not need planning permission for – this would only be the case if an Environmental Statement was not required.

The local authority has now informed Starius Bitumen that an Environmental Statement is required given the concerns over worsening air pollution in the area arising from increased vehicle traffic from this proposal as well as traffic elsewhere from the Port of Liverpool.

An Environmental Statement will contain a number of different technical reports that assess the impacts of this proposal, along with the impacts of existing and planned developments nearby, that will help inform the Council and the public when an application is submitted.

Cllr Ian Maher, Labour leader at Sefton Council, said: “We have looked long and hard into this proposal and feel more environmental assurances are needed before anything can progress.

“We strongly believe that the proposal is chemical storage and distribution which falls under the EIA Regulations of 2017.

“Our biggest concern centres around the impact this facility will have on air quality in the south of the borough when we already have declared four Air Quality Management Areas (AQMAs) nearby.

“The information submitted suggests that in the region of 6,000 HGV movements per year will be associated with the operation of the plant which, in combination with existing traffic, is likely to have a significant impact on the air quality of our communities.

“We feel it is with our best interests to request an Environmental Impact Assessment from the company to get a better understanding of how this could affect our local communities in the south of the borough and await their next steps.”