Plans approved for new South Shields base serving Dogger Bank Wind Farm, which will create 200 jobs

Posted on 21 July 2021

Plans approved for new South Shields base serving Dogger Bank Wind Farm, which will create 200 jobs

Part of a former quay in South Shields is set to be transformed into an operations hub serving a huge offshore wind farm.

This included the erection of an operations and maintenance (O&M) base and warehouse with associated access, parking, landscaping and engineering works.

A report prepared for the council’s Planning Committee on Monday, July 1, said the development is required to support the Dogger Bank Wind Farm.

The offshore wind farm is being developed in three phases, located between 130km and 190km from the North East coast at their nearest points, and will be used to supply electricity to the UK.

According to its dedicated website, the collective development will become the “world’s largest offshore wind farm.”

As previously reported, the scheme is expected to create more than 200 jobs and will be capable of powering six million homes once complete.

The O&M base plans in South Shields were submitted by Equinor New Energy Limited and will serve as the main hub for the wind farm.

When completed, the complex will include offices, a warehouse to store spare parts and a new quay suitable for’service operations vessels’ that provide accommodation and transport for technicians to and from the wind farm.

The vessels are expected to come to South Shields approximately twice a month for resupply and crew change.

And EV chargers, solar panels and efficient heating systems are also planned at the O&M base to ensure the multi-million pound facility has a low carbon impact.

During a council consultation on the plans, no objections were raised by statutory consultees or council departments, with borough planners recommending the application for approval.

A report prepared for the Planning Committee this week added that the proposals would accord with relevant planning policies and would not have any heritage or archaeological impacts.

Following discussion, the plans won unanimous support from councillors.

Councillor Eileen Leask, who moved approval of the plans at the meeting, added: “I think this is an absolutely wonderful scheme.”

Under planning conditions, the development must commence within the next three years.

Agreed hours for construction works will be 7am-6pm, Monday to Saturday and 8am-1pm on Sundays – with no works allowed on public holidays “unless otherwise exceptionally agreed in writing” by council planners.

Sourced from: The Shields Gazette

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