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Able Energy Park approved

As ABLE UK finalises its plans for £400million Marine Energy Park on the South Bank of the Humber—and takes a major step forward in its other major proposal for a logistics and business park—the company has thrown its weight behind the decision to set up a Local Enterprise Partnership, together with an Enterprise Zone, covering both sides of the river.

ABLE, whose Executive Chairman Peter Stephenson last month stressed the need for the Humber to be united if it was to be at the heart of the UK’s renewable energy sector, will be submitting its Marine Energy Park proposals to the Infrastructure Planning Commission by the end of next month. Meanwhile members of North Lincolnshire Council’s Planning Committee today considered the logistics park plan following the decision by the Communities and Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles to leave the planning decision in the hands of the authority.

The Committee backed the proposal for the development subject to finalised details regarding highways improvements and flood defence work.

Said ABLE UK Group Development Director Neil Etherington “North Lincolnshire Council is to be congratulated for the very constructive role it has played in pressing for—and delivering—a Humber-wide Enterprise Partnership.”

“It is the right decision and, as the LEP application to Government made clear, it means the Humber can exploit the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to benefit from renewable energy developments on the same scale as oil and gas transformed Aberdeen.

“Together with the rest of the area’s business community, we also fully support the concept of an Enterprise Zone able to maximise the opportunities on both sides of the river, including, of course, our Humber Ports facility, which, with a river frontage of over two and a half miles and covering almost 2,000 acres, is the largest site available for port-related developments in the UK.”

“The planning processes for both elements of our plans are moving ahead steadily. In October last year North Lincolnshire Council’s Planning Committee backed the proposals for the logistics park…including extensive warehousing and external storage areas, offices, a business park and hotel…but because of the significance of the project—the area’s biggest-ever planning application—it had to go to the Secretary of State to decide whether or not he wished to intervene.”

“The Minister cleared the way for the local authority to determine the application and today’s decision by the Planning Committee is a major step forward. We are confident that we can very quickly have the required agreements in place and that we can begin work on developing facilities which can make an enormous contribution to the regional economy—and generate thousands of jobs.”

“At the same we are completing the detailed work on the Marine Energy Park application which is seen as a project of national significance requiring consideration by the Infrastructure Planning Commission.”

“This is a hugely complex task and we are committed to submitting a wholly robust application that, not only meets the aspirations of our potential customers in the renewable energy and related industries, but also maximises the benefits for the local community.”

“That commitment also extends far beyond paying mere lip service to consultation, but taking on board the views of a vast number of individuals and organisations. Over the next few weeks we will be further refining and improving the project and the application so we can ensure its ultimate success.”

The Energy Park plans include the construction of around 1,500 metres of new quays, together with facilities for off-shore wind turbine manufacture, assembly and installation, as well as associated supply chain operations.

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