PLANS to store enough fuel to fill the Royal Albert Hall six times over at a site on Canvey have been unveiled during a public consultation.

Oikos wants to expand its storage facility from 290,000 m3 to 600,000 m3 at the site off Haven Road, Canvey.

The plans involve new giant tanks on the south side of the estate with new pipes and loading arms to move fuel in and out from the existing jetties.

A new workshop, an office extension, additional road tanker loading bays, and more parking could also be installed.

Tony Woodward, general manager at Oikos, said: “This project is really essential in supplying fuel to meet the high jet and diesel demand we have.

“Mostly residents have been concerned about an increase in traffic, the noise, the visual impact and lighting. I have stressed that now is the time to get those concerns across to us.

“Islanders have been given feedback forms where they can express their concerns, which we will take into account moving forward. There will next be a statutory consultation in Spring next year.”

A 74-year-old from the island told the Echo: “I just think this should be built somewhere else along the coastline.

“If there was an accident like an explosion, it’s so dangerous where the site is close to houses. If there was a fire on the site, rescue services probably wouldn’t even be able to get onto the island in time.”

Paul Bancroft, 64, from Canvey, said: “I do understand that they have to build this somewhere and it makes sense to have it in our area.

“I’ve been told that the tankers mostly operate at night or transport the fuel via a pipeline, which makes me feel a bit better about the traffic concerns I had.

“The trouble is, it’s right next to a highly-built up island - I know they think it’s safe, but how safe is safe?”

Councillor Dave Blackwell, representative for Canvey Island Central, said: “My concern is what is the actual benefit is for the residents, as we’re the ones who will have to live with it. It’s so close to people’s homes, traffic will increase, infrastructure is at it’s breaking point already, and there won’t be an increase in jobs, so I’m not surprised people are upset by it. There’s a national benefit, but not for us.”