Hunterston Port and Resource Centre (PARC) is nationally significant industrial and transport hub which is capable of supporting over 1,700 jobs and adding over £140m in economic value to Scotland.

In recent years, the change in Government energy policy away from fossil fuels towards renewable sources has meant there is no longer a role for Hunterston as a major import terminal for coal.

Hunterston PARC now has the potential to transform Scotland’s prospects in a variety of key economic sectors, providing jobs, skills development and import and export opportunities for decades to come. It can also support the recently announced Ayrshire Growth Deal, which will see new investment in the area.

The Master Plan process

The Master Plan describes our vision for the site and some of the critical issues we need to consider. We have prepared the Master Plan using the “Guidance on the Preparation of Port Master Plans” which was published by the Department for Transport (DfT) in December 2008.

The guidance is such that that there is no requirement for a port to produce a Master Plan and furthermore it is for the port to determine its legal obligations to do so. The status of a Master Plan is non-statutory.

The main purposes of a Port Master Plan are to:

  • clarify the port’s own strategic planning for the  medium to long term;
  • assist local planning bodies and transport network providers in preparing and revising their own development      strategies; and
  • inform port users, employees and local  communities as to how they can expect to see the port develop over the coming years.

A Master Plan does this by setting out:
 

  • how the port expects to grow and develop its business over time;
  • where changes of land use are likely to be  required to support growth areas;
  • what environmental measures will be taken to ensure that adverse effects are mitigated and that as far as reasonably possible the port makes a positive contribution to environment and amenity;
  • how people will be consulted both within the master planning process itself and beyond
  • how the port’s development plans integrate with, support and inform the regional and local economic, transport and planning policy context.

HeraldScotland: Hunterston Port and Resource Centre – Hunterston PARC – is a 400-acre site owned and operated by Peel Ports Group. It is an innovative and unique new concept for Scottish industry with energy at its heart.Hunterston Port and Resource Centre – Hunterston PARC – is a 400-acre site owned and operated by Peel Ports Group. It is an innovative and unique new concept for Scottish industry with energy at its heart.

The local challenge

The long term decline in population and jobs in North Ayrshire has the potential to undermine future economic prosperity, particularly in the context of an ageing population.

Economic development through schemes such as Hunterston PARC is likely to be crucial, both in bringing jobs back to North Ayrshire and also by encouraging working age migration into the area. This in turn will help to maintain and boost the viability of local services such as schools, GP surgeries and retail centres. The relatively high level of unemployment, low economic activity rates and net out-commuting across the occupations also suggest that there is scope for greater utilisation and retention of the existing resident workforce.

North Ayrshire’s declining population is likely to make delivering even the relatively modest forecast for 1,050 job (Oxford Economics Local Authority District Forecasting Model) over the next 10 years a challenge.

Without population growth, unemployment rates will need to fall below historic lows, and net commuting will need to improve either by convincing Glasgow City Region-bound workers to move to local jobs or encourage more in-commuting from GCR (which itself raises issues of environmental sustainability).

HeraldScotland:

The opportunity

The priority afforded to Hunterston in national policy places it at the forefront of Scotland’s strategy to be a major contributor to a low carbon, circular economy.

The development of Hunterston PARC can also directly contribute to several Scottish
Government policies and strategies:

  •      Investing in people and infrastructure
  •      Innovation
  •      Internationalism
  •      Energy generation
  •      Support for the circular economy

At a regional level, the recently announced Ayrshire Growth Deal – funded by both the Scottish and UK governments - is expected to act as a major economic stimulus, which the PARC is ideally positioned to support.

Identified potential examples for uses at Hunterston PARC can be found at the back of this document in an illustrative plan.

The environment

Environmental considerations relating to the current and potential future operations at Hunterston PARC are very important. As a statutory harbour authority, licensing authority and landowner, Peel Ports has environmental duties laid out in statute. Government policy also requires harbour authorities to strike an appropriate balance between the long-term protection of the environment and securing of sustainable economic growth.

Environmental considerations form key elements of regulatory applications through formal environmental assessment, with mitigation measures often secured through imposition of planning or Marine Licence conditions.

In discharging its roles, Peel Ports remains committed to its continuing compliance with all applicable environmental legislation, other relevant requirements in the pursuit of its duties and powers and will take these fully into account in its actions and decisions.

This will be done alongside its pursuit of the sustainability objectives established by the Government. The Master Plan identifies a range of environmental issues that could form the basis of a formal Environmental Impact Assessment process this is dependant on the nature of the project.

HeraldScotland: Hunterston Port and Resource Centre – Hunterston PARCHunterston Port and Resource Centre – Hunterston PARC

Transport

The success or otherwise of a port is inextricably linked to the ability for freight to be moved in a congestion free and efficient manner. Therefore, port access routes (be they road, rail or coastal shipping) are of paramount importance. We would seek to maximise sea freight and rail freight mindful of potential HGV traffic generation.

The choice of transport mode is principally driven by commercial factors. However, there are other determinants for some supply chains that include reliability and speeds and minimising carbon emissions as some transport modes are more sustainable than others.

Have your say
As an overarching principle we welcome active liaison and discussion with all stakeholders. We are mindful that there can sometimes be differences of opinion or approach but this should not be to the detriment of continual and open dialogue.

The guidance we have followed in preparing this Master Plan advises an effective master plan is achieved through engagement with interested parties, including local and regional planning bodies and transport network providers, both during the master planning process and once the Master Plan has been published as an adopted version.

This has been proven to be effective in our Master Plans for Mersey Ports and the Port of Sheerness.

We encourage all residents, businesses and other stakeholders with an interest in the economic future of North Ayrshire to contribute to our consultation.

HeraldScotland:

Public consultation events:

  • Fairlie Village Hall – Tuesday 4th June – 2.00pm to 7.00pm
  • Fairlie Village Hall – Wednesday 5th June – 10.00am to 4.00pm
  • Fairlie Village Hall – Thursday 6th June – 10.00am to 2.00pm
  • Garrison House, Millport – Thursday 6th June – 10.00am to 2.00pm

Hunterston Port and Resource Centre

2019 Master Plan consultation survey

We are currently preparing a new Master Plan for the Hunterston Port and Resource Centre (PARC) and we would like your views.

Before providing your comments we would recommend that you look at the full Master Plan as it provides an important overview about our aspirations for the site. The draft Master Plan can be viewed at www.hunterstonparc.com.

The most convenient option to respond to the survey is to use the online survey at www.hunterstonparc.com/survey. Alternatively, we would be happy to send you a paper copy if you request a copy by emailing us at hunterstonparc@peelports.com.

The deadline for replying is Friday 28 June 2019.

The final Plan will provide a strategy for the development of Hunterston PARC over the next 20 years.

We will carefully consider all comments we receive when we finalise the Plan. We will publish an updated version in 2020 and publicise this locally and via our dedicated Hunterston PARC website www.hunterstonparc.com