Pipeline radiation risk may force T in the Park festival to move

Festival may be forced to relocate due to oil pipeline on its site

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The Independent Culture

T in the Park, Scotland’s biggest music festival, may be forced to relocate to avoid a potential radiation risk caused by an oil pipeline on its site.

Part of the festival’s location in Balado, Kinross, runs over the Forties Pipeline, which carries North Sea oil to Grangemouth.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said it does not want the festival to continue at the site beyond this year.

The HSE has raised persistent objections to 85,000 revellers being allowed to party near the major oil pipeline.

An accident could cause “a large number of casualties“ and result in people receiving ”a dangerous dose of thermal radiation”, according to HSE.

An HSE spokesman said: “In our view the public safety risks it presents mean the site is not suitable for an event of this scale and nature.”

Festival organisers DF Concerts said they hoped to redesign the site away from the pipeline. But if that is not possible, the event, which last year attracted The Killers and Rihanna among its headline acts, may be forced to move away from Balado. The company has applied for a one-year extension to its existing layout this summer.

The HSE has agreed not to refer its objections to Scottish Ministers this year, provided T in the Park moves from its current site from next year onward.

Papers submitted by HSE to Perth and Kinross Council stated: “It has been made clear by the applicant that they are seeking an alternative site outwith the pipeline consultation zones but unfortunately they have not been able to secure a site to host the event in 2014 at this time, hence the submission of this further application.”

A DF Concerts spokeswoman said: “Throughout the years T in the Park has gone through a meticulous system of planning and safety checks which we have always passed, including this year.

“Nothing has changed in the last few years except HSE protocol. The pipeline remains in the same position as always, which means that it also continues to run underneath schools and Aberdeen airport's runway. Over the last couple of years we have complied with the change in HSE protocol by reorienting parts of the site to move away from the exclusion zone. Everyone from the Scottish government to the HSE have approved of this and we will continue to shift the site as required and dependent on our needs.”

HSE maintains that “With large numbers of people in close proximity to a major hazard pipeline, our view is that the proposed development raises safety issues of substantial concern.”

Councillors from Perth and Kinross council will make a decision on the planning application, which is being recommended for approval.

Arctic Monkeys are the first headline act announced for this year’s festival, which will take place from July 11-13. Tickets will be placed on sale from Friday February 28.