Hiding in plain sight

Privacy mesh fencing used to create a gas storage compound on Dover seafront

The Dover Western Docks Revival scheme in Kent is the single biggest investment ever taken by the Port of Dover. When completed in April 2023, the £250m regeneration project will have completely transformed the waterfront, providing space for exciting new shops, buzzing bars and cafes alongside the new marina pier, enticing a surge of tourism.

In order to supply the updated facilities with propane gas, a new outdoor gas storage compound was required. The compound build was completed in autumn 2022, situated next to the newly built Marina Office. Essentially, the compound needed to be secure and inaccessible to the public, whilst also remaining visually appealing due to its location.

The challenge of storing propane gas in a public space

Propane gas is a reliable, clean energy source with multiple uses. It is utilised by a number of industries, from manufacturing and plastic production, to powering agricultural equipment, and heating water, cooking, and refrigeration. Propane use is on the rise, and is increasingly considered as an alternative to coal. In choosing to power an appliance by propane it is estimated to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by up to 70% as opposed to using electricity.  However, if improperly handled, propane gas has the potential to cause injury or damage to people or property. When propane gas is used and stored safely, the potential for hazards to occur dramatically decreases, so, to ensure risks are reduced, propane gas must be kept outside and under strict guidelines:

  • Store outside in a well-ventilated place
  • Store away from sources of heat and ignition
  • Store away from building entry/exit points and drains
  • Store and use above ground level, never lying down

Fusing form and function

This gas storage compound was constructed using EuroGuard Combi welded mesh panels. The rigid V mesh panels are interlaced with timber slats, offering a robust security solution that is also aesthetically pleasing instead of hostile. In total, 37 metres of fencing were installed at 1.8 metres high, with two 1m wide matching gates that were fitted with padlockable slide latches.  

Alongside the gas storage compound, a 20m bin store was also built using the same EuroGuard Combi panels, with a matching gate and slide latch. This type of fencing is ideal for bin stores as unsightly bins can be hidden and protected from theft, arson, and wind gusts moving them – critical in a windy coastal area.

Constructed with unique tamper-proof panel-to-post connectors, the V mesh panels help prevent vandalism and break-in attempts. The use of timber slats to cover the mesh apertures also creates a strong anti-climb face, which paired with warning signs about the presence of gas being stored, helps to deter any opportunists. Being in a public place also helps to discourage any criminal behaviour.

Due to the installation of the gas storage near the sea, protection from the adverse coastal environment was also necessary. In order to battle against rust and corrosion, the EuroGuard Combi steel mesh panels are polyester powder coated green in marine grade finish, giving them an extra layer of durability while complementing the natural environment. 

Peter Jackson, Jacksons Fencing Managing Director, comments: “We are delighted to have been involved in this project for a second time, following the specification of our Barbican double leaf gates, which were installed at the entrance to the pier in 2020. Here we’ve achieved a robust security solution without impacting the appearance of the surrounding area. The ability to achieve security which doesn’t compromise appearances or create a bleak, hostile environment is key in this modern world, where public places particularly are in need of more security. Discreet security solutions can protect and conceal valuable, dangerous, and unsightly elements of national infrastructure, keeping the public safe. The security measures used for this compound play a vital role in minimising disruptions so that the ever-increasing demand for gas is met with ease.”

Recommended For You