Alex Codd, City Planning Manager, Hull City Council, discusses his organisation's involvement in the development of the marine plans, and their relevance for the offshore wind industry.
Hull City Council have worked very closely with the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) in the production of the East Inshore and Offshore Marine Plans and attended a number of consultation events. This ensures we as a local authority are fully prepared for the marine plans being adopted, as we have a statutory responsibility to take marine plans into account whenever a decision impacts on the marine area.
For example, wind energy developments are a major industry off our coast, and create many jobs in the area. Marine plans recognise the importance of these to our economy, but also take into account how this might impact on our coastal residents and our environment.
The MMO has worked well with the local community and Hull City Council to recognise these considerations and many others, and have hosted events within the city to try and gather views. As marine plans balance the needs to protect the environment whilst supporting sustainable economic growth, we can use the policies effectively to support the development of the offshore wind industry in the North Sea. But more importantly, we can also support infrastructure requirements to manufacture and distribute the wind turbines from the Humber Estuary.
The benefits of such an approach are already evident as we move towards using the plans, as the MMO and Hull City Council gave Greenport Hull consents for facilities for the manufacture of offshore wind turbines, which in March 2014 led to the announcement from ABP and Siemens of a £310million investment within Hull and Paull.
These are the views of the author and may not represent the views of the MMO.