ANGRY neighbours are rallying against plans to expand a fuel storage depot.
Residents, councillors and an MP have joined forces to object to a planning application submitted by Par Petroleum, in Woodstone Village, near Fence Houses.
The company, which distributes petrol, is hoping to expand its operations at the site where it has been for more than 20 years.
But this has been met with protests from the community, which fears it will lead to a loss of green belt around residents’ houses.
Marc Hopkinson, 40, a manager in the NHS, who lives at Glamis Court, said: “The message we want to communicate to the council is that it is not appropriate to turn a well-established green belt back into an industrial site, particularly as many people have bought houses in the area to benefit and enjoy the open space.
“This type of operation does not have a place in a residential setting either as it poses far too many risks, not only to the environment, but to people living and working around the site as well.
“The local roads will not be able to cope with the increase in the number of heavy goods vehicles and tankers.”
North Durham MP Kevan Jones said: “A number of my constituents from Woodstone Village have contacted me about the proposal to extend the Par Petroleum site.
“I share their concerns and have written to Durham County Council on this matter.
“They are rightly concerned about the apparent lack of consultation and the potential impact the proposals could have on the village.
“I would urge residents to make sure they lodge their objections with the planning department.”
A Par Petroleum spokesman said: “Par Petroleum, a small family business was established in Woodstone Village more than 20 years ago.
“Recent expansion has allowed us to provide stability for existing employees and generate new jobs in the area during extremely difficult economic times.
“We appreciate the concerns of residents over our current planning application and welcome their input.
“Along with our planning consultant, we will be addressing all comments by co-operating fully with Durham County Council planning department.”