HEARTS will have to “disaster-proof” their new £12m main stand rebuild if it is to get the planners’ green-light.

Health and safety chiefs have ordered separate work to protect the Scottish Premiership club's fans should disaster strike and the neighbouring whisky distillers' tanks spill and go up in flames as conditions on a planning application under consideration by Edinburgh City Council.

It is unclear at this stage how much the works will cost and whether the conditions will affect the club's timetable to start work on the new 7,290-seater main stand, which will replace the 1919 stand, in November with completion due next September.

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It is understood that the new conditions follow a site visit by the HSE, which admitted the chances of such a disaster taking place are "very remote".

A safety wall dividing the stadium and the distillery has to be bolstered to hold in ethanol used by North British Distillery in the whisky-making process.

Councillors are to vote on the application which officers recommended for approval but with the health and safety conditions list attached at a meeting on Wednesday.

Planners put the conditions onto the application after the Health and Safety Executive “took into account the scenario of a large fire of flammable liquid”.

The HSE will address the public meeting at the council chambers ahead of the vote.

Its concerns centre on the containment of the ethanol tanks in the distillery.

The council report said the HSE said that “while it takes into account the standard safety features expected for the distillery as a major hazard installation, there remains a very remote chance of a major accident”.

The building of the stand will also include a new nursery to replace one currently on council-owned land at the site.

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John Bury, council head of planning and transport's report that will be considered by councillors, stated: "If this were new development, for example replacing a derelict brownfield site, the HSE

would advise against the granting of planning permission.

"This is because of the sensitive populations involved: the large number of people in the inner zone (in the stand) and nursery.

"The HSE recognises that the football stadium and distillery have operated next to each other for over 100 years.

"It also notes that the bulk ethanol storage has been present since the mid-1990s, with the Wheatfield, Gorgie and Roseburn Stands being granted planning permission prior to this, and prior to the site requiring hazardous substance consent."

Mr Bury continues: "Given the significance of the hazard and the large numbers of additional people using the stand and the vulnerability of the nursery users, it is recommended that a condition.

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is included that requires improvements to the Bond Wall, and that the modified hazardous substances consent, be secured prior to the commencement of any part of the development that would be occupied by these groups."

The report said there was a "reasonable prospect that a modified hazardous substance consent can be put in place".

The total capacity within the stadium would be 20,099 compared with its current capacity of 17,529, an increase of 2,570 seats.

Also in the new stand will be offices, players' and hospitality lounges, a roof terrace, directors' suite, changing and physio rooms and media centre.