Approval is granted to store explosives at village quarry
Bomb disposal experts have been given permission to store explosives overnight in Westbury-sub-Mendip.
Based at Broadmead Quarry, on the outskirts of the village, Alford Technologies uses the site to test bomb disposal equipment used to save lives in Afghanistan.
Currently the firm transports explosives by road to the site on a daily basis in order to carry out their work.
In October Alford applied to Somerset County Council to allow it to store two tonnes of explosives overnight as they claimed this reduced the risk of an accident when transporting explosives in lorries.
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Planning permission was needed due to a condition preventing the storage of explosives overnight.
Westbury-sub-Mendip Parish Council objected citing security and safety concerns.
In 1993 the quarry was the target for armed members of the Irish National Liberation Army who attempted to steal explosives. They were thwarted by an undercover MI5 agent.
Despite the parish council’s concerns the request was unanimously approved by Somerset’s planning committee.
Roland Alford of Alford Technology said: “If we’re using explosives on the site and we have to transport them in every time, we’re increasing the risk of being in an accident so the preferred way to do it is to move most of it and store it and then you don’t have to have to keep transporting it on public roads.”