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Petroleum , Explosives and Poisons, Premises Licensing

Why are petrol storage licences required?

Licence - storage of petroleum

Licence conditions


Petrol delivery and storage

The keeping of petrol must be in accordance with conditions attached to a licence issued under the Petroleum (Consolidation) Act 1928. When an Inspector appointed by the licensing authority visits a petrol filling station the aim is to ensure the observance, maintenance and, where necessary, the improvement of safety standards.


The petroleum licensing authority is Bedford Environmental Health & Trading Standards, who are responsible for ensuring safety at sites where petrol is delivered, stored and dispensed.


Other safety-related legislation is enforced by the local councils or the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), dependent on the main activity at the premises concerned.



Why are petrol storage licences required?

Petrol vapour can have acute or chronic effects if inhaled and therefore should be considered in the assessment required under the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH).


Petrol is a highly flammable liquid and gives off flammable vapour even at very low temperatures. When this vapour is mixed with air in proportions between 1% and 8% a risk of fire or explosion exists.


Petrol vapour is heavier than air and does not disperse easily in still conditions. It tends to sink to the lowest possible level of its surroundings and may accumulate in tanks, cavities, drains, pits or other depressions.


Flammable atmospheres may also exist where clothing or other absorbent material or substances are contaminated with petrol.


Licence - storage of petroleum

If you store more than 15 litres of petroleum spirit (petrol) then you will almost certainly need a licence to do so.  (There are one or two exceptions to this rule – contact us for more details).


All fees for a petroleum licence are payable per annum (pro rata). Please 'Click' here for the fees and charges


There are various fees, depending on the amount of petrol you wish to store; there is also a fee to transfer a licence or to replace a lost licence.


You can download the forms for requesting a petrol licence below.


To find out what the latest fee is and which type of licence you require (based on amount of petrol stored) please contact us on:



Tel: 01234 718099


I need a licence, what do I do now?

You can either contact us to request an application form.  You will need to complete the form and return it to us at:

Environmental Health & Trading Standards Service
Bedford Borough Council
Borough Hall

Caudwell Street


MK42 9AP


This should be completed and returned with the fee, copies of plans of your premises (scale 1:100), including location of petroleum storage and the actual storage arrangements.  Cheques or postal orders should be made payable to Bedford Borough Council.


We will consider the application and associated documentation and advise you of the outcome.


Licence Conditions

A licence is issued subject to strict conditions containing important safety requirements, which must be followed.  A copy of the conditions will accompany your licence.  The licence must be kept available on the premises in a site register.


Petroleum Guidance document  (PDF opens in new window)

Domestic Storage of Petroleum guidance document (PDF opens in new window)

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