Councillors to view airfield storage site

Aircraft arrive at Longside Airfield
Aircraft arrive at Longside Airfield
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Members of Aberdeenshire Council’s Buchan Area Committee are to visit the proposed site of an oil pipline storage yard at Longside Airfield.

Plans lodged by Independent Oilfield Services Ltd to create the long-term storage had been recommended for refusal on safety grounds.

Council planners said the North East Aviators which use the airfield had objected to the plans on serious safety grounds.

But at Tuesday’s meeting local councillorNorman Smith was backed in his calls for a site visit so that members could judge for themselves what degree of risk there might be to pilots.

Fellow councillor Jim Ingram said the potential for new jobs as a result of investment at the site was encouraging, but stressed that safety of airfield users was paramount.

The flying club maintains the storage facility would encroach onto the line of the former World War II runway - albeit disused at this time - as the location for pipe storage is in the centre of the flight path to and from the airfield.

That raises safety implications for users of the airfield and as such the operators consider this a development too far in the context of developments at the airfield.

Infrastructure services director Stephen Archer told councillors that the applicants had not yet satisfactorily demonstrated that the development would not result in a detrimental impact upon the safety of the aviation activities, and for that reason refusal was recommended.

The application would see an area of nearly four hectares designated for conveyor racks and pipe storage set in rows of between 70-170 metres up to a maximum height of 5m.

The site is currently in use for this purpose at this time although no permission currently exists.