RR512 - Review of significance of societal risk for proposed revision to land use planning arrangements for large scale petroleum storage sites

This report considers whether there is a societal risk issue associated with the setting of land use planning zones around large scale petroleum storage sites, such as Buncefield, and reviews critically the conclusions that HSE has reached in relation to this issue. Some alternative approaches and calculations have also been undertaken in order to help clarify the issues and enable reasonably firm conclusions to be reached.

It is concluded that any practicable land use planning approach for large scale petroleum storage sites must inevitably be risk based, either explicitly or implicitly. It is also concluded that, if stringent individual risk based Land Use Planning control is introduced in the Inner Zone, then there will be no need for any further controls to limit increases in societal risk.

Several options have been considered, and it is concluded that the most appropriate way of controlling the risk within the 250 m Inner Zone is to introduce a 150 m Development Proximity Zone, within which HSE would advise against all normally occupied buildings.

Whilst there are still many uncertainties regarding the off-site risks associated with large petroleum installations, the adoption of this Development Proximity Zone is considered to represent a precautionary risk based approach.

This report and the work it describes were funded by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Its contents, including any opinions and/or conclusions expressed, are those of the author alone and do not necessarily reflect HSE policy.

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Updated 2021-04-20