Residents made emotional pleas to council planners this week not to give Ineos the green light to close off a public road.
At a predetermination meeting for the firm’s A904 Bo’ness Road closure proposals held in Grangemouth High School on Monday night, planning convener Baillie Billy Buchanan and his fellow councillors were urged on a number of occasions to refuse Ineos planning permission at the special council meeting on Wednesday, March 29.
Ineos has lodged plans to build a security management centre and gatehouse to permanently close off a stretch of the road to allow them to construct four more pipe bridges and hopefully attract new businesses to their Grangemouth site.
Bo’ness community council convener Madelene Hunt said: “You are trying to shut our main lifeline for pipe bridges. There is no reason for this road closure. You have not proved your point – it’s all a dream at the moment.
“When you can tell us how many people are going to be in there and how many jobs are going to be created then come and talk to us. There is no reason to close that road now.”
A Bo’ness resident added: “Who gives away public land to a company who purely want to exploit the area to make a profit? As a council your responsibility lies with the public and no one wants this road closed.
“The council should not give away public amenities for the sake of a private proposal.”
It was stated the proposed alternative routes would add an extra 600 miles a year to one Bo’ness motorist’s mileage.
According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), the road being open to the public made security “challenging” for Ineos.
Ineos stated the road must close for the site to be competitive in today’s marketplace.
Gordon Milne, Ineos Grangemouth operations manager, said: “This plan will help to secure future success for Grangemouth. It’s a forward looking and enabling application that provides confidence.
“The road being open creates certain safety and security concerns. We still have to inspect the pipes and the best way to do that is to put the pipes above ground.”
Grangemouth resident James Bundy asked for assurances from Ineos the road closure would not have an adverse impact on local businesses. The online petition Mr Bundy started now has over 2300 supporters and he was adamant the council take account of this.