Mass rally organised against £200m Yorkshire Energy Park

A mass rally is expected on Saturday against a £200m industrial park earmarked for a former aerodrome on the green buffer of land between Hull and Hedon.

According to Yorkshire Wildlife Trust in 2017, said over eight per cent of the Humbers entire population of curlews forage on the fields

Developers say the Yorkshire Energy Park will create more than 4,000 jobs, offering “fantastic potential” for south-west Holderness and the wider region.

But many residents are concerned about traffic and the impact on wildlife, including endangered curlews, as well as the erosion of the ancient town of Hedon’s identity, which they fear will be swallowed up by nearby Hull.

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The plans for the Hull Council-owned land, visited by aviator Amy Johnson after her record-breaking flight to Australia in 1930, include two 20MW gas-fired "peaking" plants and a substation, a mixture of business space and education, training and research facilities as well as a community sports venue.

Councillors John Dennis, Sue Steel and Mike Bryan at the site

Campaign organiser Coun John Dennis said if estimates were correct, they and an adjacent site, owned by Associated British Ports, which could create as many as 7,500 jobs, could generate a total of 25,000 vehicle movements a day, not counting HGVs and commercial vehicles.

He said local feeling against is “very strong” and said "maybe thousands" could join the march, adding: “If there are going to be 12,000 jobs in the neighbourhood which rely on HGVs and workers coming across the city on these really difficult roads, the A63 and the M62, it will be intolerable.

“We are also very keen on protecting indigenous species, curlews, skylarks and plovers, as well as retaining the identity of the ancient community that has always been separate from the industrial sprawl.”

However, project director Claire Harrison said supporters currently outnumbered objectors by a ratio of “close to two to one” on East Riding Council’s planning portal.

Artist's impression of the Yorkshire Energy Park

She said: “We have continued to have an open dialogue with residents and have adapted the plans to leave half-a-mile of open space for wildlife, ensuring Preston South and Hedon retains its identity.

"This open space will be enhanced to create an improved habitat for wintering birds, and importantly, this area will be protected for 150 years, meaning the scheme cannot encroach towards Preston South and Hedon.”

Supporters of the proposed industrial park development include Gordon Wilson, who is the Eastside Community Sports Trust’s chairman, which is host to 30 sports teams.

Mr Wilson said: “It will be a benefit to the community long-term, from a job creation and increasing skills and opportunities for people in the local area.

“This is building a foundation for future generations.”

The march leaves the Centrica car park behind the Sainsbury’s fuel station at 11am.