Posted on the : 23rd October 2014
The decision by a Joint Parliamentary Committee to clear the way for the multi-million pound Able Marine Energy Park on the South Bank of the Humber has been described as ‘brilliant news for our company, for the region, the UK—and the job opportunities that it will create.’
That was the reaction of Able Executive Chairman Peter Stephenson to the news today that the Joint Committee of the House of Commons and the House of Lords, set up to consider petitions against the project lodged by Associated British Ports, supported the decision, made by the Secretary of State for Transport last December to grant a Development Consent Order for AMEP.
The development will cover over 900 acres and provide almost 1,300 metres of new heavy duty deep water quays, designed specifically for the marine renewables sector and providing a multi-user facility for the manufacture, storage, assembly and deployment of next generation offshore wind turbines and their associated supply chains.
Said Mr Stephenson “After a lengthy, detailed and costly planning process we gained approval from the Planning Inspectorate and then received the backing of the Government which made it very disappointing and frustrating that ABP chose to continue its efforts to block a development which really does offer a once-in-lifetime opportunity to transform the economy of the region, provide the catalyst to make the Humber a world-class ‘Energy Estuary’ and put the UK at the forefront of the renewable energy industries.
“Despite the talk of ‘compromise’ the reality was, that if ABP had succeeded in its efforts to significantly reduce the size of the quays planned for AMEP, it would have made the development no longer economically viable and we would have had no option but to abandon it.
“Regrettably ABP’s tactics have meant a further delay of almost a year. Of course, ABP have clearly threatened further legal manoeuvres through Judicial Review. But, if they were to pursue that course, it would be seen by everyone as flying in the face of the decisions of the Planning Inspectorate, the Secretary of State and now a Joint Committee of Parliament…and nothing more than a desperate attempt to retain its virtual monopoly on the Humber.
“I am sure that everyone who wants to see the Humber succeed will hope that ABP will now step back from any further attempts to delay and instead act in the interests of the area as a whole.
“Today’s decision by the Joint Committee is a vindication of our faith in AMEP and the massive support we have received from so many organisations and individuals who recognise its importance – we are, of course very grateful for their on-going support. They will, I am sure, share our determination to now push ahead with the development as quickly as possible. We have, of course begun the preparatory work on site—supported with the £15million grant announced by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Eric Pickles in August.
“The clear decision of the Joint Committee sends the strongest possible message to the major international players in the offshore wind industry that AMEP is now a reality and will be able to offer UK facilities equal to anywhere else in the world.”
AMEP is a concept based on an industrial logic that will meet the needs of the emerging renewable energy sectors. Where proximity to market means everything to everyone, it will offer a big space in the right place, with substantial quays, designed following extensive liaison with the offshore wind industry, built to accommodate the deployment of large industrial components to the North Sea and beyond – all this, in the heart of the largest offshore wind market in the world.
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