Jobs in peril claim as energy park plans challenged

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A PROJECT aimed at creating 4,000 jobs could be put at risk or seriously delayed after a challenge was laid in Parliament by port operator ABP, developers warned last night.

Able UK said Associated British Ports’ move posed a “serious threat to arguably the most important development in the area for decades”.

It came after ABP submitted two petitions under “special Parliamentary procedure” over the development at land at North Killingholme for a marine energy park which would manufacture turbines for offshore wind farms.

They will be heard by a joint committee, who then have the power to amend the planning permission given by the Government back in December, after repeated delays.

Conservative Cleethorpes MP Martin Vickers said it was “regrettable” that the two companies had not been able to reach a compromise.

The planning permission involves the compulsory purchase of a small triangular piece of ABP land, which is part of the water frontage earmarked for development by Able. Able said if ABP was to succeed in significantly changing the plans “it would put the entire project at risk.”

However ABP insisted that shortening the 1.3km quay Able wants to build would not affect “one single job” as the jobs would be created on the land side of the development, not the berth side. At 1km long it would still be the longest anywhere on the Humber, and 400m longer than the quay German manufacturer Siemens is looking to develop in Hull.

Port director John Fitzgerald said he expected the high-level of political interest to speed up the Government process, adding: “It doesn’t have to be this way - I think 4,000 jobs can be worked through a shortened quay.”