THE development of a Peterhead Energy Hub has taken a major step forward after planning permission in principle was unanimously approved for the Energetica Industry Park last week.
Councillors met at the Buchan Area Committee meeting last Tuesday where they agreed that the plans be given the go-ahead for the development of the business park at Upperton Industrial Estate on the outskirts of town.
Both the industry park and the formation of a spine road into the site were approved at last week’s meeting and it is anticipated that the road could be constructed within a year.
The industry park, incorporating 50,000sq.m of floor space, will be used for business, general industrial and storage and distribution use, with associated landscaping and service areas.
A public consultation was held in October last year where members of the public got their first glimpse of the drawings, when it was stated at that Scottish Enterprise would put in the infrastructure, the roads, drainage and connections to and from the sites.
Businesses will then choose a plot and more detailed planning applications will be put forward.
The industry park could become a centre for technical innovation in the service and maintenance of renewable power generation equipment and light assembly of components used in renewable power generation.
Energetica is the new energy community stretching north from the Bridge of Don to Peterhead and west to the airport which could generate £750 million in investment in the first ten years with the potential to generate £500 million of additional annual GVA in the region.
Councillors agreed at their committee meeting that the industry park would not only benefit Peterhead but also the North-east and would also help employment in the area.
Central Buchan councillor Albert Howie said: “I welcome this application with open arms. It’s a great development for the Peterhead area.”
Concerns were raised that contamination could be an issue at the site, however planning officer David McLennan confirmed: “There are no major problems, and minor issues are hoped to be resolved in the next few weeks.”
Peterhead South and Cruden councillor, Stephen Smith, added: “I very much welcome the proposal and I am pleased that it has met with approval from all Buchan area councillors.
“Energetica is an important project for the future of the Peterhead and Buchan economy.
“It is part of a long-term plan to bring quality, energy-related jobs to Peterhead and now that approval has been given, I hope that we shall see rapid progress towards that.”