Great Yarmouth Energy park: £4m plan

The park would be close to Great Yarmouth's outer harbour and the River Yare

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A £4m business park designed to attract energy companies is to be established in Norfolk.

The Energy Park at South Denes in Great Yarmouth will be run as a joint venture by borough and county councils.

The port town, already a base for gas production in the southern North Sea, hopes to attract firms involved in developing offshore wind farms.

Firms not involved in energy but established in South Denes will have to move and are calling for compensation.

Planning permission for energy firms moving into the park is going to be straightforward because South Denes is subject to a Local Development Order, the developer said.

At first the 50-acre (20 hectare) park aims to target firms involved in the development of the East Anglia Array wind farm.

'Economic growth'

The first phase of this project, involving Scottish Power Renewables and Vattenfall Wind Power, is due to start in 2016.

Up to 325 wind turbines will be built initially and three further phases are currently scheduled over a 10-year construction period.

Bernard Williamson, from Great Yarmouth Development Company, said: "The Energy Park is vital for the economy of the borough and wider region.

"The offshore gas industry has expressed interest in sites, but without land on which to grow, skilled jobs, economic growth and regeneration opportunities, which could be secured locally, will be lost to other parts of the country or even abroad."

South Denes has been selected because it has good access to the outer harbour and the river port.

Negotiations began a year ago to move smaller firms not linked to offshore industries out of the designated Energy Park area.

Critics of the scheme say their businesses will be disrupted.

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