A major risk assessment is to be carried out over plans to build a big natural gas storage tank at a Herefordshire factory.

Tyrrells Crisps needs permission for a Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) storage unit at its Stretford Bridge plant at Leominster because it is covered under hazardous substances legislation.

In an application to Herefordshire planners, the firm says it wants to replace the current Propane Gas unit at the site because LNG is cleaner and will cut carbon dioxide output.

The gas is needed as fuel for the crisps and snacks factory’s friers and ovens.

The Health and Safety Executive say they will be reviewing the plans to ensure public safety. The fire service, Herefordshire Council’s emergency planning office and National Grid are among others being consulted.

Other than the 49 tonnes of gas that the unit can store at its maximum, specialised tankers carrying up to 23 tonnes of the flammable gas will deliver to the site 2.4 times a week, on average.

It means about 2,500 tonnes of the gas every year being transported to the site.

The gas will be stored above ground, to provide plenty of ventilation, but will be housed in a specially constructed concrete compound.

There are no houses within 200 metres of the proposed tank; three within 285 metres.

Details of the application can be viewed on the Herefordshire Council website.