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WORK has begun to dismantle two unused gas holders in Birkenhead as part of a plan from National Grid to clear the site for future use. 

The site on Hind Street will be cleared as part of National Grid’s on-going nationwide gas holder dismantling programme.

Residents around the area are being warned of strange smells that may come from the site during the weeks of work due to the sludge and debris from the site.

Specialist contractors will first remove and treat any water from the holders then the sludge and debris but this can produce an unpleasant smell similar to diesel.

This smell is not harmful to people who live in the surrounding community or the environment and National Grid will do everything they can to make sure it does not become an issue.

The site and surrounding area has a rich history in securing Birkenhead’s gas supply.

The original gas works date from the 1840s and by 1941 there were three gas holders in place.

Wirral Globe:

An aerial photograph of the site in the 1940s

Gas production ceased in 1977 when the two remaining gas holders and the rest of the site were just used for storage.

Holders are now no longer required due to improvements to the network which means gas can be stored in a pipe system or underground.

The site will remain securely fenced at all times with full CCTV coverage.

For residents who live or work by the site will be strictly controlled to minimise any potential disturbance.

Work is expected to be finished by spring next year.

Land regeneration manager for National Grid Kat Scargill said: “We will remove the gas holders as safely, quickly and efficiently as possible to minimise the impact on local people and the environment.

“We have written to people who live and work in the local community to explain what we will be doing.

"If anyone has any questions about the project they can contact our community relations team on 0800 819 9071.”

National Grid’s gas safety guidance remains unchanged by the work.

If people do think they can smell gas they should contact the freephone gas emergency number 0800 111 999.