Green oasis to be created for wildlife under Yorkshire Energy Park proposals

A new wildlife area will provide an additional home for protected
birds in a quiet grass and wetland habitat under plans for the proposed
£200 million Yorkshire Energy Park.

An 89-hectare site has been secured in the Sunk Island area of
Holderness to create a dedicated wetland habitat to support some of the
Humber’s most precious and protected birds including Curlew, Goldern
Plover and Lapwing. It will provide an additional habitat for the birds
that currently visit the former Hedon Aerodrome site, which is proposed
for development.

Plans also include improving and protecting part of their current
habitat by dedicating 50% of the Aerodrome site to the east as part of
the Yorkshire Energy Park proposals.

The consortium behind the Yorkshire Energy Park has been working with
industry experts, Statutory bodies and interested parties for several
years to put robust plans in place, to provide and protect suitable
habitat for the wildlife.

The announcement comes as Natural England, the public body that
ensures the natural environment is conserved, enhanced and managed for
present and future generations confirmed they have formally withdrawn
their objection to the proposed scheme. In a letter on East Riding of
Yorkshire’s planning portal, the organisation stated:

“Natural England is satisfied that the specific issues we have raised
in previous correspondence relating to the development have been
resolved. We therefore consider that the identified impacts on the
Humber Estuary can be appropriately mitigated with measures secured via
planning conditions or obligations as advised and withdraw our

Claire Harrison, Project Director for Yorkshire Energy Park said:

“We want to make sure all of the measures we’re proposing are as
considered as they can be, including the proposals for the wildlife on
the site to protect our internationally important natural environment

“Working alongside organisations such as Natural England and taking
on board community views, we’ve adapted the masterplan to leave around
half a mile of open space (45 hectares) for wildlife. The development
itself is only 50% of the whole site and this is adjacent to the West,
which is a preexisting industrial area.”

“This open space will be enhanced to create an improved habitat for
protected species, and importantly, this area will be protected for 150
years, meaning the scheme cannot encroach towards Preston South and
Hedon in the future.”

Ponds and wetland areas will be created on the site, along with bat
boxes. The west of the site will include sympathetic landscaping
designed to attract insects to benefit the local bat population, while
places for newts to hibernate and breed will be created, and grass
snakes will also benefit from the improvements.

A nature walk has also been included in the energy park plans,
planted with native trees and flowers which benefit insects and bats.

Ms Harrison continued: “Alongside the measures on the Hedon Aerodrome
site, we’re now progressing plans to create the wetland habitat at the
Thorn Marsh site, as an additional home for the birds. A planning
application for this has been submitted and we’ve been working closely
with Natural England on these proposals.

“We will also involve local schools and the community in designing
and installing ecological features, which can be developed into a wider
education programme linked to green energy and protection of the

The Hedon Aerodrome site proposed for the development of Yorkshire
Energy Park is the only available area on the north bank of the Humber
where a presence of a significant connection to the National Grid
exists, alongside a piped natural fuel supply already on the site.

Due to this unique set up, reliable energy can be provided to
businesses on the Park at significantly less than markets rates. This
has led to the development attracting multi-national and national brand
names including E.ON, Asanti Data Centres, Dell, SSE, leading battery
manufacturer BYD, and infrastructure funder Legal & General, as well
as the backing of Humber Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), the
region’s biggest business body, Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG) and
Hull College Group.

Yorkshire Energy Park will be a critical employment site in the
Humber, creating up to 4480 jobs across a range of sectors. East Riding
of Yorkshire Council will also benefit from £3.5m of business rates per
year, once the Park is fully operational.

If planning permission is granted by East Riding of Yorkshire’s
Council’s Planning Committee, the energy park will include an energy
centre, data centre and disaster recovery suite, space for established
and start-up businesses, education, training and research facilities
alongside associated short-stay accommodation, an outdoor building
materials and testing facility, and sports facilities for the community.

The Yorkshire Energy Park is being proposed by locally-based Sewell
Group, Hessle-based communications company MS3 Networks and development
company Chiltern Group.

The scheme is expected to be determined by East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s planning committee within months.