Sheerness wind turbine plant gets approval

Thanet offshore wind farm off Ramsgate
Image caption Peel Ports says it is in discussions with companies over the site on the Isle of Sheppey

The development of a wind turbine manufacturing plant in Kent has been given planning permission.

Peel Ports Medway's application for a factory at the Port of Sheerness on Sheppey has been approved by Swale Borough Council.

The group said it hoped to attract manufacturers to the area after Vestas' plans fell through.

The Danish wind turbine firm cancelled plans for wind turbine manufacturing on Sheppey in June.

The Vestas plan would have created about 1,600 jobs on the island.

Peel Ports Medway controls the Port of Sheerness and Chatham Docks.

Gary Parkinson, managing director, said: "The Vestas decision was disappointing but had nothing to do with the suitability of the site at the Port of Sheerness."

The company said it had been in confidential discussions with several manufacturers over the use of the site and the Port of Sheerness was ready to invest in the infrastructure of the area.

Mr Parkinson added: "Our discussions with leaders in offshore energy and renewables as well as with the government and local authorities have reinforced our conviction that this is a perfect site for manufacture of wind turbines and related activities."

In September, the Sittingbourne and Sheppey MP, Gordon Henderson, said a renewable energy company had shown interest in the Isle of Sheppey.

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