The Yorkshire Post reported yesterday that a public inquiry will be held this summer to decide whether the site can be developed for the building of a biomass power station, which will provide heat for fish farming and horticultural enterprises. A ‘data centre’ is also proposed for the site.
Whatever the merits of the scheme – and early concept plans seen by Jim Lindop seem to suggest that they are grand in scale – it would close the gap between Preston South/Hedon and Hull.
The motivating factor of Hull City Council to expand Hull and build in the East Riding is the desire to create more space for economic and housing development, but that has not gone down well with local Councillor John Dennis who represents Hedon and Preston on the East Riding Council and is also the Mayor of Hedon.
Councillor Dennis expressed his opposition to Hull City Council in the Yorkshire Post likening them to acting like a modern-day Genghis Khan! He also made his position very clear to the Hedon Blog:
“The Hull City Council has owned the Hedon Airfield since around 1930, and has on many occasions tried over those years to get planning on it. If they were successful they would at long last be able to cash in their investment, and believe me it would be many millions of pounds. They don’t care what impact that might have on local communities, just so long as they get their hands on the money.”
The Yorkshire Post article reports that Hull Council is mindful of the benefits to Hedon through the creation of new jobs. Hull City Councillor Phil Webster is quoted as saying: “We are looking at a minimum of 750 jobs which is going to help people in Hedon.”
But Councillor Dennis disagrees: “Bearing in mind the type of activity to be carried out on that land – horticulture and fish farming, just how many local people will take those jobs? We all know that the majority of horticultural jobs out in Holderness are carried out by immigrant workers, not local people.”
Lateral Power is behind the Eco Park proposal and they have set up another company Lateral Eco Parks Hull Ltd to take the project forward having been awarded sole-negotiating rights on the land owned by Hull City Council. The new company was set up in March 2013 with the negotiating rights awarded in July.
Councillor Dennis says: “It greatly concerns me that this Lateral Power organisation has still not had the decency to come to Holderness and explain their proposals to the people most effected. That should have happened a year ago when the scheme was first mooted.
“To me, and other Hedon Town Councillors to whom I have spoken, and Ward members at County Hall, this is just another example of Hull’s voracious expansionist plan to swallow up its neighbours. The talk recently about them expanding their boundary to encompass Hedon and the local villages, plus Willerby, Anlaby, Cottingham and even Beverley just shows how much they need watching!”
Hull City Council has promised an immediate public consultation on plans once an option is worked up. The Hedon Blog will make space available to Lateral Eco Parks Hull Ltd on this website to ensure that their option gets the widest online exposure possible in the local area – and of course to promote a healthy debate!
On its website, Lateral Power says that each of its project sites must be assessed independently on a whole range of issues. Interestingly, they list ‘Political will’ as one of those! It looks like a battle of political wills is ensuing over this issue!