Work on £450m plant to build offshore wind turbines on the south bank of the Humber Estuary that will create thousand of jobs will start early next year after plans won government approval.
Port developer Able UK has been given the go ahead to build a 1,300-metre quay and facilities for the manufacture and assembly of the turbines.
They will be part of the Able Humber Port development – the biggest of its kind in Europe.
The scheme, expected to create 4,000 jobs, has been 14 years in the making but received approval on Wednesday from Transport Minister Robert Goodwill.
Able’s founder and executive chairman, Peter Stephenson, said he hoped the quay would be up and running by 2016, providing there are no further delays.
“The Humber is ideally placed in close proximity to the world’s largest proposed offshore wind farms and, coupled with the scale of the site, the inherent strengths of local people and local businesses, we have the very best package to offer the emerging offshore wind sector,” Mr Stephenson said.
Environmental groups had objected to the project, raising concerns over its effect on local bird populations. Able said it had developed a £60m package to protect wildlife and the environment.
Mr Stephenson said: “The real work starts now although the land assembly and development process has been under way for some 14 years – investment to date has already been significant and the planning application alone has cost almost £10m. Port developments like this are not for the faint-hearted and it has been a long six year haul for all those involved.”
A spokesman for the Department for Transport (DfT) said Able had satisfied concerns about the new habitat for birds affected by the project and the impact on existing infrastructure.
“The next stage is for Parliament to consider whether to confirm compulsory purchase powers over land owned by various businesses including Network Rail and Associated British Ports,” a DfTspokesman added.
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