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Government ‘Minded to Approve’ Marine Energy Park Plans

Able UK has today welcomed the announcement that the Government is minded to approve plans for its multi-million pound Marine Energy Park on the South Bank of the Humber but says it is ‘more than a little frustrating’ that there is to be a further delay in gaining a final approval

Today Transport Minister Norman Baker announced that, whilst the Planning Inspectorate panel appointed to consider the application for the development had recommended granting consent, he wished to receive further evidence relating to ecological compensation measures and the protection of a local rail line. He has asked for further information on these two issues to be supplied by September 25th.

The Marine Energy Park is planned to cover 906 acres, providing 1,279 metres of state-of-the-art quayside facilities purpose built for the manufacture, assembly and installation of offshore renewable technologies. It is at the centre of the largest Enterprise Zone in the UK and, as well as attracting around 4,000 local jobs directly, is seen as the catalyst for establishing the Humber as a world-class centre for the renewable energy industries.

Said Able UK Group Development Director Neil Etherington “It is obviously good news that the Panel which carried out the very detailed and complex examination of our application recommended granting consent. It’s also good news that in today’s announcement Ministers do recognise the regeneration and economic benefits for both the local area and the wider development of the offshore renewable energy industry.

“At the same time it has to be said that a further delay in a decision is disappointing. The Planning Inspectorate gave its recommendations to Government in February, a decision was originally due in May and now the deadline has been pushed back to December.

“Given that, when it was announced in July that the deadline had been pushed back today in order to clarify issues relating to the Crown Estate, one has to wonder why the issues relating to the concerns of Natural England over ecological measures and the question of protecting future operations of the Killingholme branch railway could not have been dealt with at the same time.

“This application has been under consideration for around four years and, as part of the planning process, we have put forward measures to spend over £35million protecting wildlife and the environment.

“We will be taking immediate steps to address the issues raised in the Government’s announcement today and sincerely hope that there will be no further delays in a project which enjoys the overwhelming support of the entire local community, including MPs, local authorities, the Local Enterprise Partnership,  and, of course, the offshore wind sector itself—both manufacturers and developers—who all recognise it is a much-needed, once-in-generation opportunity to transform the area and bring enormous benefits to the UK as a whole.”

28-8-13

NOTE FOR EDITORS: The Able Marine Energy Park forms an integral part of the overall Able Humber Port development, which covers 2,135 acres with a river frontage of two and a half miles. Able has already invested over £50million in the first stage of its development which is currently used for vehicle import, storage and distribution activities. The company also has approval for the development of the multi-million pound 1,229  acre Able Logistics Park which will include extensive warehousing and external storage areas, offices, a business park and ancillary services.

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