85 tonnes of explosive material proposed for new storage facility between York and Harrogate

An application for permission to store the explosives was lodged with the local authority this month.
An application for permission to store the explosives was lodged with the local authority this month.

Up to 85 tonnes of explosives could be held at a proposed storage facility  between Harrogate and York, if new plans lodged with the local authority are approved.

Further details about the the storage site have been submitted to Harrogate Borough Council by Yorkshire explosives company Brexco, who plan to build near the former Tockwith Airfield, south of the village of Tockwith.

Up to 35 tonnes of explosive and 50 tonnes of ammonium nitrate would be stored at the site if the firm's application for hazardous substances consent, lodged in July, is approved.

It comes two months after the company applied for permission to create the infrastructure of their storage business at the airfield, which include storage units, a communication cabin and a re-packing shed.

On their website, Brexco state that they specialise in providing supplies and equipment for mining operations.

"Whilst there have been many great achievements in mechanical technology over the years, explosives remain an important resource to our future way of life," their website states.

Ammonium nitrate is commonly used both in the manufacture of explosives, as well as the production of agricultural fertilizers.

The company's plans for a North Yorkshire base has run into opposition before.

A similar application by the company for a site at Great Ouseburn was rejected unanimously by councillors in February 2018, over concerns increased traffic would negatively impact on local roads and the surrounding landscape.

The new application has already received dozens of objections from nearby residents, while Tockwith with Wilstrop Parish Council have also registered their opposition to the proposal.

A planning statement submitted on behalf of the applicants states reasons to support the new proposed area include its distance from residential settlements and a road network linking it directly with the A1.

Its location on a former airfield is also historically associated with the storage of combustible materials, the report adds.

Further complicating the matter is that a registered key holder to the site has to be within 20 minutes' drive of the business for security reasons.

As the key holders will be based at either Brexco at Thrope Park or at homes in York, there is a limited catchment area in which a new store can be located.

Lachlan Leeming, Local Democracy Reporter