A gas leak which closed Witney roads sparked concerns from local residents about the proximity of the Apley Works to a housing development.

Police shut Burford Road, at the top of Tower Hill and near the Smiths Estate, on September 5.

The cause of the closures was a 'suspected' gas leak, police said.

The road closures were lifted shortly after 5pm, with police taking to social media to say the the 'leak' had been resolved.

A Flogas spokesman said: “On Sunday 5th September, a minor leak occurred at our Apley Works facility on Burford Road, causing a negligible discharge of liquified petroleum gas.

“The leak was quickly detected, identified and resolved.

“As a precautionary step, surrounding roads were closed temporarily, in line with planned safety protocols.

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"Apley Works is built to the highest safety standards and roads were quickly reopened, with minimal disturbance to the local community.”

He added that there were no evacuations of local residents from their homes and "like all such facilities, Apley Works operates to the highest safety standards and has established incident response protocols in place (agreed with local emergency services) which operated quickly and efficiently on the day."

But residents on social media reacted with black humour, referring to the fact that the nearby Kingfisher Meadows development is next to the Flogas plant.

One said: It's OK, they reduced the number of houses near Flo-gas so if it explodes all will be well <sarcasm>.

Another added: Bet it’s a gas leak, judging by the cones and all those new houses eh !!

West Oxfordshire District Council’s planning committee unanimously rejected the proposal by Gladman Homes to build the new estate in November 2014 with officers and councillors highlighting the proximity of the proposed estate to the Flogas works.

It was called “unacceptable in public safety terms” by the Health and Safety Executive.

Tony Gaskell, from Flogas Britain, said up to 200 tonnes of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) was stored on site.

He said 270 families moving next to it would have a “significant impact” on the risk of people being affected by a potential explosion.

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The firm took it to an appeal but the application was defeated mainly because of its potential impact on the natural beauty of the Windrush Valley but also because the houses were deemed to be too close to the gas plant.

A campaign group, the Windrush Valley Protection Group, fought the applications and 2,000 residents signed a petition.

Their main objections were the impact on traffic congestion and infrastructure, the impact on the beauty of the Windrush Valley but also the proximity of the homes to the gas plant.

Campaigner Mark Hammond said: “There’s a very good reason the plant is situated in the bottom of the valley away from everything. To build right next to it seems completely bonkers.”

The application to build the estate was finally approved in 2016 by then Secretary of State Sajid Javid.

The estate is in the ward of district councillor Andrew Coles, who said: “ I have been in touch with Oxfordshire Fire Service’s incident commander who has briefed me on the incident.

“I thanked him for his quick response and for the skill and professionalism of his crews and that of all the emergency services at the incident.

“Yes, I was opposed to the new Kingfisher Meadows housing development and campaigned actively against it.

“It was foolhardy, in my opinion, to build a housing development next to a hazardous industrial plant and introduce risks where they didn’t need to exist.”