Tom Keighley

Developers "frustrated" by further delays to Humber Marine Energy Park

Developers Able UK say further delays to their Marine Energy Park on the South Bank of the Humber are “more than a little frustrating.”

Transport Minister Norman Baker has asked for further evidence relating to ecological compensation measures and the protection of a local rail line, before a decision is made.

The Minister says he is “minded to approve” the development, but must assess the two issues first.

Able UK group development director, Neil Etherington, said: “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.”

The planned Marine Energy Park is planned to cover 906 acres, with quayside facilities for the manufacture, assembly and installation of offshore renewable technologies.

Neil continued: “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 £35m 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.”

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