Villagers have lost their fight against plans to make more space for hazardous substances at a Wirral industrial complex.

Almost 120 people opposed plans by NuStar Terminals to increase storage capacity for gasoline deom 17,000 tonnes to 24,064 tonnes at their Bankfields Drive plant at Eastham.

Wirral planning committee gave the go-ahead for the project this week with the only dissenting voice coming from Eastham Cllr Dave Mitchell.

He said: “I was with the residents on this issue and I voted against it. I made the point that there is a go kart track in the vicinity which is used for major events on a regular basis.”

There was a safety issue at the plant in March when an alarm sounded for two hours in rthe early hours of the morning, creating concern among local residents.

The company confirmed there was a malfunction and that they had followed emergency plans drawn up by Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service.

Residents objected to the “significant” increase in storage and its close proximity to houses.

TGhe company confirmed that the proposed increase was less thanpreviously allowed in the 1990’s and that no further housing development had been built closer to the terminal since.

Following a risk assessment study by the Health and Safety Executive they found there were no significant reasons on safety grounds for refusing hazardous substances consent.

The application site is an established chemical storage facility located adjacent to the Mersey estuary.