Health and Safety Executive criticises Hart Council

Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Logo

Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Logo

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has criticised Hart District Council for not clearly marking on a map the Major Accident Hazard pipelines that pass through the district.

Regular readers will recall that the Master Plan for the proposed new settlement at Murrell Green does not refer at all to the high pressure gas main that runs through the site.

Murrell Green high pressure gas main

Murrell Green development with high pressure gas pipeline

We alerted the HSE to this and invited them to comment on the Draft Local Plan that is currently out for consultation. They have written to Hart Council and identified two further potential issues:

We have concluded that there is the potential for land allocated in your plan to encroach on consultations zones.  The land allocations that could be effected (sic) are as follows

Map 30 – Murrell Green (Proposed Strategic Housing-led Development Policies SC1-SC4)

This allocation encroaches on the Southern Gas Networks High Pressure Pipeline – HSE Reference: 7067 Gaston Wood/Murrell Green(PO65)

It also has the possibility to encroach on the Southern Gas Networks High Pressure Pipeline – HSE Reference 7069 Crockmore Farm/Bramshill(P067)

Map 7 – Eversley Centre – SC5

This allocation has the possibility to encroach on the Southern Gas Networks High Pressure Pipeline – HSE Reference 7083 Bramshill/The Devil’s Highway(P086)

The HSE then go on to spell out their recommendations for how local authorities should identify such hazards in their Local Plans (emphasis ours)

Identifying Consultation Zones in Local Plans

HSE recommends that where there are major hazard establishments and MAHPs within the area of your local plan, that you mark the associated consultation zones on a map. This is an effective way to identify the development proposals that could encroach on consultation zones, and the extent of any encroachment that could occur. The proposal maps in site allocation development planning documents may be suitable for presenting this information. We particularly recommend marking the zones associated with any MAHPs, and HSE advises that you contact the pipeline operator for up-to-date information on pipeline location, as pipelines can be diverted by operators from notified routes. Most incidents involving damage to buried pipelines occur because third parties are not aware of their presence.

Clearly Hart Council has failed to follow Health and Safety Executive Guidelines.

The full letter from the HSE can be found here.

Posted in Hart District Council, Hart Local Plan, We Heart Hart Campaign, We Love Hart Campaign and tagged , , , , , , .


  1. At the consultation exhibition in the Harlington Centre a couple of weeks ago I mentioned the gas main to one of the HDC officials and the fact that it was not featured on any of the various diagrams displayed. She assured me that they were aware of it and that the Murrell Green development would take account of the limits within which development may not take place. So that’s all right then. Or perhaps not…

  2. During the abortive Beggars Corner Trimmers Solar Farm development we mapped the gas pipe. We had the local engineer out, we ran a detector up the length of the pipe and we even staked the route out every 50 metres with wooden markers which were driven into the ground. These have since been removed. Hart have all of our information on the pipe and all the documentation is still online on the solar farm website Our method statements specified how we would deal with the pipe. There is no way you can build houses on or near it without significant risk. That was the point of the solar farm – to use useless land to benefit the community and the environment.

    For various reasons, not the least being the railway, that pipe is highly unlikely to be re-routed. It was going to cost us £1.2 million to run an electrical cable down Totters Lane for half a mile so you can imagine what re-routing a main gas feed would cost. Trust me – I’m an engineer – a real one.

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