WORK to convert a former petrol station into a car wash
has been halted after a petroleum officer from Greater Manchester
Fire and Rescue Service discovered the old fuel tanks were still
A Prohibition Notice was issued to the owner of the site on
Chorley New Road, Lostock, Bolton, on Tuesday, March 6.
A GMFRS petroleums and explosives officer was called out to the
former petrol station at 4pm after a member of the public reported
demolition work at the station to Bolton Council.
Demolition had started at the site to turn it from a petrol
station into a car wash.
The fuel pumps had already been removed by a contractor but the
underground storage tanks had not been decommissioned or removed -
as is required under Health and Safety at Work Act and Public
A Prohibition Notice was issued preventing any more work taking
place at the site before the tanks are properly decommissioned or
removed by an approved contractor.
Vapours from the tanks are highly flammable and, if they were to
escape to atmosphere, can start a fire or explode with the
slightest of ignition sources such mechanical equipment operating
in the area.
Stuart Morgan, GMFRS's Petroleums and Explosives Manager, said:
"People passing or living near this site shouldn't be frightened as
it's safe now - the tanks are capped and the petroleum vapour is
safely contained, as long as no more work is done until they are
properly dealt with, it is very unlikely they pose a risk of fire
"We work closely with businesses to ensure they know their
responsibilities and help them operate from places where fuel is or
has been used safely.
"Prosecution is a last resort but it's a route we can go down
where we've been dealing with firms that ignore Prohibition Notices
or Improvement Notice."
The Petroleums and Explosives Team is part of Greater Manchester
Fire and Rescue Service's Protection department.
They ensure that the 340 active and any inactive sites storing
petroleum in Greater Manchester work safely and within the
legislation that governs the storage of petroleum spirit.
The Petroleums and Explosives Team, made up of specialists in
the field, also has responsibility for licensing any sites that
sell explosives, including fireworks.