Redundant filling stations

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An article on the radio today got me thinking. They said that many redundant filling stations - put out of business by the supermarkets as are so many others - are so expensive to have the land properly reclaimed by removing tanks etc, that in low value areas are simply left derelict.
Fairly close to me is one such. Been derelict for a couple of years. But it's unusual in that it was built in the garden of a quite nice Victorian house, which is still there - it was used for the offices etc. It also had a detached MOT workshop added which is nicely built and of course has two large bays - both of which were equipped with lifts. I'd say it would easily hold 6 cars. The forecourt area is fairly small, and a decent fence, paving, and a few plant pots would make it look fine.
So my question is - do the tanks *have* to be removed, or could they be simply filled with water, rubble or concrete etc?
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Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@argonet.co.uk London SW 12
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Nah, they don't have to be removed by DEFRA, thay are generally removed by Demolition companies (my father-in-law works for one, that how I know). They don't always have to remove the tanks, if the plot isn't going to be build on, they generally just fill them with concrete. If foundations are needed, then the tanks come out.
Mike
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That's what I hoped - I can understand the high cost of re-development if they had to come out for a new build, but in this case they could stay where they were. Wonder what the cost of filling them would be?
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Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@argonet.co.uk London SW 12
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wrote:

He may know, so next time i see him I will ask!
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"Dave Plowman" wrote | > They don't always have to remove the tanks, if the plot isn't | > going to be build on, they generally just fill them with concrete. | > If foundations are needed, then the tanks come out. | That's what I hoped - I can understand the high cost of re-development | if they had to come out for a new build, but in this case they could | stay where they were. Wonder what the cost of filling them would be?
Well, concrete's cheaper than petrol :-)
Owain
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In an earlier contribution to this discussion,

Ignoring labour costs, a 1000 gallon tank (4,500-ish litres) would require about 4.5 cubic metres of concrete. A decent filling station would have several tanks - each probably in excess of 1000 gallons (maybe 2000 or 3000 gallons each).
If we assume a total capacity of 10,000 gallons (45,000 litres), that would require 45 M^3 of concrete. How much is readymix per M^3 these days?
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That is around 7 truck loads at 500 quid a truck. Someone said it had to be a special mix, though. Also, expect to pay around 300,000 quid in insurance, bungs to councillors and building regulation fees.
Christian.
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wrote:

http://tinyurl.com/3g6fw
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I can't see why one or more of the tanks can't be cleaned out, filled with water and used as an interseasonal water store being heated by an array or solar panels. Although foam insulation would need to be sprayed around them.
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Return on investment? Carcinogenic contamination?
Christian.
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Tanks are there. The expense is cleaning them and spraying in the foam. The other expense is the solar panel array.

Where? The tanks get cleaned inside. A truck comes and puts a special steam sort of hose in and cleans it right up.
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I was under the impression that such sites had to build in de-commissioning costs for eventual closure
London SW 12

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If I remember the prog right that's true today, but the legislation wasn't retrospective. And many of these smaller privately owned filling stations have gone bust.
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Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@argonet.co.uk London SW 12
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Dave Plowman wrote:

There is building on such a site near me ... I wonder if they've addressed the tank issue, maybe I wind up the L.A. again ... my favourite pastime at present :-)
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BillR wrote:

There's a terrace of houses not too far from here that's built on what used to be a filling station. Prior to that it was a pub, although that was flattened by a plane load of bombs during WWII. With a site history like that I bet they don't have many bonfires in the garden.
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I undertake Health & Safety on filling stations for my living.
Petrol tanks are not permitted to be left empty when a filling station closes. This does not apply to diesel tanks. In addition to the Health and Safety at Work Act this is controlled by the Public Health Act. The operation of the site and closure is regulated by the fire brigade or Trading Standards Department of your local council. The land contamination is dealt with by Environmental Health, or if the site is over a water extraction (source protection) zone then the Environment Agency will be involved. It's hard to hide a petrol station so not many escape being made safe properly.
When sites initially close it is normal for the tanks to be water filled for up to three years or made safe permanently straight away. Making safe involves filling with resin generated foam such as http://www.tanksafe.co.uk /, a lean concrete mix (which must be vibrated to remove voids) or removal and cutting up after de-gassing.
Tanks cannot generally be washed out or steam cleaned as the hydrocarbons will leach out of the tank shell and create an explosive atmosphere again. Water alone has been shown to be insufficient in removing petroleum residues from the tank shell.
Anyone competent can make tanks safe (apart from de-gassing or foam filling which require specialist kit) this operation is overseen by the fire brigade or TSD after a method statement and risk assessment has been produced. This is not really surprising when you consider that most filling station are in populated area and huge amounts of petrol vapour can be is released during this operation. The regulator overseeing the work makes no charge for their attendance or approving the method statements, nor have I ever heard of them being bunged! There are also no Building Regs fees or planning consent required for making tanks safe.
AFAIK the NHBC will not issue their 10 year warranty to houses built over old petrol tanks even if they have been made safe to current standards.
What is strange is that the Public Health Act puts the responsibility of making safe with the occupier of the site and not the owner. Many tenants are caught out when they close a petrol station and keep open a car sales or workshop and find they are liable for remediation costs.
If you think a closed site has not been made safe, ask the local fire brigade or TSD. Contact details are here http://www.apea.org.uk/contacts /
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Off topic reply coming :-p
That quote is very similar to a very funny after-dinner speech made by a chap called David Gunson, an air traffic controller, and available on tape and CD called "what goes up might come down" (he was talking about airports at the time, saying the government have found most of them)
http://www.townsend-records.co.uk/davidgunson.htm
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wrote:

This is an absolute classic, and well worth getting.
.andy
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Doctor D. wrote in message ...

mouth. Has it put you off property developing as a career?
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