Loxwood councillor Gareth Evans has written to the West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service chief officer, Dr Sabrina Cohen-Hatton, appealing to her to take immediate and urgent action in order to prevent a major chemical emergency disaster from happening.
Community members are concerned about the hazardous digestate, the by-product of an anaerobic biodigester plant, being stored in Lagoon 3, located on land that was previously part of Crouchlands Farm in Plaistow.
There are fears the water accumulating on top of the lagoon combined with a structure deemed “unsound and inadequate” by an engineering report commissioned last year by the Environment Agency could provoke the lagoon collapsing and a major breach with potentially devastating consequences.
The digestate liquid would then travel over the land and down the water courses to the rivers and the sea and would be a serious threat.
The Environment Agency and Chichester District Council recognise the immediate danger as they have closed all the public footpaths in the vicinity of the lagoon.
Cllr Evans has written to the fire service asking for their help by means of pumping the water off the top of the lagoon as this is the most urgent thing to be done, but he is also requesting details of emergency plans for dealing with a breach of the lagoon from other agencies and authorities involved.