December 9 - Associated British Ports (ABP) is once again challenging the development of the Able Marine Energy Park (AMEP) on the south bank of the Humber River.
A longstanding battle between the two port operators has been waging, with ABP using a special parliamentary procedure (SPP) in March 2014 to block the 900-acre development. In October, HLPFI reported that a joint parliamentary committee cleared the way for the multi-million pound project.
However, ABP is now seeking a judicial review of the planning process that led to government's decision to green light the AMEP.
Able states that ABP's actions show "a blatant disregard for the planning process, for parliament, the overwhelming views of the local community - and is seriously damaging the economic development prospects of the South Humber Bank."
According to Able, the AMEP will create over 4,000 direct jobs and play a crucial role in positioning the Humber estuary as a leading region in attracting renewable energy industries. The latest move made by ABP is another attempt to overturn or delay approval on the AMEP development.
Able Group development director, Neil Etherington, commented: "We are sure that by taking this step ABP is even more isolated than it was from virtually every other interest on the Humber - the Local Enterprise Partnership, the local business community, local members of parliament and their constituents, the vast majority of whom will be appalled that a development of such importance to the area is again being delayed and put into jeopardy by the actions of a single company."
The compromise put forward by ABP is that a reduction in the quay length should be made at the proposed AMEP, in order to avoid including an area called the Killingholme triangle - an area of land owned by ABP.
Etherington continued: "Its [ABP's] claim that the so-called Killingholme Triangle - the small area of land which is needed for AMEP - is of vital importance to them was undermined by its own chief executive when he told the joint parliamentary committee that the isolated site was merely needed to give it 'elbow room' for the future … and added, astonishingly, that ABP was 'agnostic' about offshore wind developments.
"ABP really is at the last chance saloon and we see its response as being as spiteful as it is desperate and we remain entirely confident that due process, as it has already, will see through their tiresome and vindictive smoke and mirrors."
If the project goes ahead, the Able development will provide state-of-the-art quayside facilities for the manufacture, assembly and installation of offshore renewable technologies at Able Humber Port.