A NATURAL gas pipeline was proposed to the Stanlow refinery.

The application was submitted by new owner Essar Oil UK Ltd.

The installation was part of work required to reduce emissions of sulphur dioxide from the refinery, according to a report.

It would allow the refinery boiler house to run mainly on natural gas.

The pipe would mainly be laid underground within the Stanlow complex, although part of the route would cross under the A5117 and the Shropshire Union Canal. It would follow existing pipe runs for much of its length.

Borough planners explained that construction of the pipeline had largely been carried out and the application was mainly retrospective.

No objections were raised by the Canal and River Trust or by the Health and Safety Executive or Environment Agency.

There were no representations as a result of the application being advertised or from Elton borough councillor Graham Heatley.

The pipeline would be unlikely to affect legally protected otters and water voles in the vicinity of the River Gowy and Stanney Mill Brook, planners explained.

The application was recommended for approval subject to the views of adjoining parish councils and the borough council agreed the pipeline could have permission.