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Business & Economy

Streamlined planning to further power up port

A new super-efficient planning process has been created to aid ongoing development at one of the North’s fastest growing ports.

South Tyneside Council has worked closely with Port of Tyne management to develop a new planning protocol designed to remove unnecessary barriers or speedbumps from the approval process and help drive development at the facility.

The upgrade removes a number of traditionally time-consuming steps in the planning process and enables Port of Tyne to quickly capitalise on the rapidly-growing offshore wind sector, for which the location is gaining a well-deserved reputation for delivery.

Councillor Tracey Dixon, leader of South Tyneside Council, said: “We are a planning-friendly borough and by initiating this protocol, we’re making it easier for our current businesses at the port to develop and grow and also enhancing our ability to attract new businesses looking for a soft landing in a new location to South Tyneside.

“The opportunities presented by the rapidly expanding offshore wind sector are immeasurable and given our unique location to the Dogger Bank project, we’re in prime position to take advantage. This new planning protocol will prove vital in our ability to continue attracting the cream of the offshore wind crop.”

The protocol covers the area classed as port ‘operational’ land, which constitutes most of the port’s land holding on the south bank of the Tyne.

The regulations reduce the port’s requirement for consultation, instead working closely with South Tyneside Council to address any concerns or on-site issues.

Victoria Beattie, head of estates at Port of Tyne, said: “The port and South Tyneside Council enjoy a fantastic working relationship and together we can achieve great things.

“The protocol will provide assurance to new businesses locating on the Pport that their requirements will be delt with in a timely, efficient way and it will provide a fantastic addition to our ever-expanding armoury to attract new renewables companies to the port, creating highly-skilled new jobs in a rapidly expanding sector.

“These are exciting times for Port of Tyne and South Tyneside.”

Wind and solar energy made up a record high of global electricity generation last year, with renewables generating 12 per cent of global electricity in 2022. South Tyneside’s location, proud maritime history and traditional engineering skills see it ideally suited to become a European hub for offshore wind.

The port has already welcomed Dogger Bank Wind Farm Operations and Maintenance Base and Equinor to the borough in recent years, both of which have hit the ground running.

The opening of the state-of-the-art hub on the former McNulty’s shipyard site in South Shields will create more than 400 long-term high-quality jobs, supporting the operations and maintenance of the world’s largest offshore wind farm, just off the North East coast.

In total, more than 2000 UK jobs have already been created or supported through the Dogger Bank project since construction of the first two phases began in 2020, and South Tyneside is one of the boroughs set to benefit most from the landmark development.

Councillor Dixon added: “Offshore wind offers us a once in a lifetime opportunity and we must grab it with both hands.

“There is an ever-increasing need to develop new and renewable energy sources and we are perfectly placed to provide the jump off point to one of the largest offshore wind sites in the world.

“South Tyneside is committed to creating job opportunities and providing the people of our borough with sustainable, exciting careers.

“Establishing this protocol with the port is a demonstration to inward investors that we’re open for business and ready to welcome them to the borough.”