For­mer MP backs new en­ergy park

GREEN LIGHT SCHEME SAYS ALAN JOHN­SON

Hull Daily Mail - - NEWS - By An­gus Young Lo­cal Govern­ment Re­porter an­gus.young@reach­plc.com

FOR­MER city MP Alan John­son has put his weight be­hind plans for a £200m en­ergy park be­tween Hull and He­don.

He says the pro­posed de­vel­op­ment rep­re­sented the “next big step” for the re­gion in its am­bi­tion to pro­mote the Hum­ber as the UK’S en­ergy es­tu­ary.

Ear­marked for land at the for­mer He­don aero­drome be­tween Hull Road and Staithes Road, the project in­cludes plans for a new en­ergy cen­tre, data stor­age cen­tre, hi-tech re­search units, an ed­u­ca­tion and train­ing cam­pus, busi­ness premises and new-look com­mu­nity sports fa­cil­i­ties.

A con­sor­tium be­hind the scheme says it has the ca­pac­ity to cre­ate up to 4,480 new jobs.

The for­mer Hull West and Hessle MP said: “What peo­ple need to re­alise is that this de­vel­op­ment is even big­ger than Siemens com­ing to Hull.

“Siemens was never meant to be the end of the story, it was al­ways go­ing to be just the be­gin­ning and the York­shire En­ergy Park is the next big step in that story.”

Mr John­son now chairs Hull­based pub­lic pri­vate part­ner­ship Ci­ty­care, which re­cently built the new £9m Jean Bishop In­te­grated Health­care Cen­tre, in east Hull.

With in­ter­na­tional en­ergy gi­ant E.ON sup­port­ing the de­vel­op­ment, Mr John­son said it was im­por­tant a de­ci­sion was made soon.

“I know E.ON has been on­board with this pretty much from the start, but it is a big com­pany and if an­other sim­i­lar de­vel­op­ment op­por­tu­nity came along some­where else in Europe it would have to con­sider it.

“That’s why it’s so cru­cial to get the tim­ing right on this.

“The site has been iden­ti­fied be­cause of the good ac­cess to the Na­tional Grid and the fact a gas pipe­line goes right un­der­neath it. There’s nowhere like it in the re­gion.

“We have the prospect of some cut­ting-edge en­ergy tech­nol­ogy com­ing here and, with the world be­com­ing more elec­tri­fied in terms of en­ergy use, things like bat­tery stor­age re­search and de­vel­op­ment are go­ing to be what is needed in the fu­ture.

“Here is a site with ac­cess to the grid where en­ergy-in­ten­sive com­pa­nies can look at pay­ing some­thing like 20 per cent be­low the mar­ket rate be­cause of its con­nec­tiv­ity.

“That is a big at­trac­tion for these type of firms.”

An out­line plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tion for the scheme is due to go be­fore East Rid­ing Coun­cil’s plan­ning com­mit­tee in the next few weeks.

An im­age of how the York­shire En­ergy Park might look. In­set, Alan John­son

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