Friday, 25 October 2013

Shell site development on hold

There was speculation this week that a proposed development of a former oil and bitumen refinery in Ardrossan could be put on hold.

Irvine Bay Regeneration Company sought and received planning consent last May, which would have allowed development on the area of the former Shell-Mex site that has already been decontaminated.  However, the3towns understands that the continuing economic downturn, which has badly affected the construction industry, could see development plans stalled for an indefinite period.  A source indicated the site could now be screened from the road and housing in North Crescent Road by the construction of a 6ft-high ‘earth bund’.

At the time of Irvine Bay’s planning application in May, North Ayrshire Council officials raised questions over the quality of decontamination work undertaken so far, saying in a report, “Only a small section of the former Shell site, closest to North Crescent Road has been decontaminated to date and the decontamination works have now ceased. The decontamination works were being carried out in accordance with a scheme of work agreed with SEPA [Scottish Environment Protection Agency] and the Council's Environmental Health Section and under the terms of a planning permission (10/00483/PP) granted in October 2010. It is the applicant's intention to continue with the investigation and decontamination of additional phases of the site as each development of the adjacent residential phase is being constructed. Environmental Health have requested a condition be attached to the permission to require further information to be provided regarding the investigation and remediation of contaminated material on the site for their approval.”

The consent granted to Irvine Bay and Clydeport, owners of Ardrossan Harbour, allows for a development comprising housing, a nursing home, commercial units, a distributor road and coastal defence works.

Previously, Ardrossan’s Independent councillor John Hunter angrily described the undeveloped site as the town’s “biggest eyesore”.

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