Petrochemical giant Ineos has lodged plans to build a security management centre and gatehouse to permanently close off a section of public road.
The company applied to temporarily close the stretch of the A904 from Inchyra Road to Wholeflats Road in 2015 in order to carry out vital work on its Grangemouth site.
Last year it submitted a Proposal of Application Notice (PAN) with Falkirk Council to permanently close the road between Inchyra Road and a point east of the Avon Bridge.
Now the council has confirmed Ineos has lodged a full planning application to construct what the company refers to as a “security management centre” and gatehouses.
The firm stated while it recognised the “potential closure” of the section of Bo’ness Road will have implications for residents and businesses in Grangemouth and Bo’ness, it hopes the jobs, security and economic opportunities the plans will bring will be welcomed.
Ineos added: “We firmly believe removing public access along a segment of road that bisects the site is in the interests of safety and security.”
If the plan does get the go ahead, Ineos stated concerns about traffic and bus routes would be addressed with “mitigation measures and road improvements”.
This application has been predicted by locals for a some time, with members of Grangemouth Community Council stating in meetings last year it was only a matter of time before Ineos made a move to close off the road to the public.
The company’s refinery business Petroineos was recently issued with an improvement notice from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) which stated the firm failed to take all measures to “prevent major accidents” at the site.
It had not ensured moveable electrical equipment provided for use in hazardous areas on the refinery tank farm at its Grangemouth site has been inspected and maintained.
Petroineos confirmed last week it had now taken steps to deal with the situation.