What Hull council needs to do to make a cruise terminal by The Deep a reality
An artist's impression of the proposed new cruise terminal near The Deep
By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 11 Oct 2017
An independent planning inspector says the city council needs to make a detailed case for a cruise ship terminal next to the The Deep.
A location close to the aquarium is the council's preferred site for the multi-million pound development.
The site has been earmarked in the council's proposed new Local Plan, which sets out the authority's land use policies and priorities for the next 15 years.
The council hopes to emulate Liverpool's successful cruise terminal operations.
Having chaired a public examination on the Local Plan during the summer, planning inspector William Fieldhouse has now published his findings and recommendations.
In them, he gives qualified support to the idea of building a terminal near The Deep.
But Mr Fieldhouse adds: "As submitted, the Plan does not contain adequate justification for the proposed cruise terminal on land adjacent to The Deep, nor does it contain effective policies to ensure that such a development could be delivered in a satisfactory manner having regard to potential impacts on the natural environment, residential living conditions and the transport network."
To address those issues he suggests several changes to the Plan which, ultimately, will require agreement by the council.
Cruise ship Boudicca in dock at Liverpool's Pier Head
"To be effective in ensuring that the proposal is implemented without unacceptable impacts on the Humber estuary, residential living conditions, flood defences, heritage assets, air quality or highway safety and congestion, policy needs to be modified to make it clear that development will only be supported if this is demonstrated at project stage. "
The council has plumped for a site near The Deep site ahead of Albert Dock because the latter is currently still being used commercially by Associated British Ports.
Mr Fieldhouse says building a cruise ship terminal at Albert Dock "would be likely to be physically difficult and more expensive".
He adds: "I am satisfied the location chosen is justified providing that it is likely to be developed in such a way as to have an acceptable impact on the site and surroundings."
Albert Dock has been rejected as a possible location for the new cruise ship terminal (Image: Ashley Howard)
The council's current vision is to provide a faciity both as a home port, where cruises start and end, and a port of call for visiting cruise ships.
Port of call visits would typically be made once every three days between April and October, usually giving passengers between six and 12 hours onshore to visit nearby attractions.
It's forecast the terminal would attract around 60 ship visits per year.
Vessels would likely to be between 200 and 250 metres in length but could potentially be up to 350 metres long.
A feasibility study into the project suggests it could create around 150 permanent jobs and make a £150m net contribution to the local economy over its first 15 years.
Mr Fieldhouse accepts the argument for locating the terminal close to the city centre, allowing passengers easy pedestrian access to areas such as the Fruit Market and the Old Town.
But he stresses that its potential impact on nearby residents in Victoria Dock as well as on natural habitats in the Humber needs to be properly addressed.
The current option is for vessels to dock next to a new floating pontoon in the estuary, with passenger and crew access via a connecting footbridge.
The Deep Business Centre
Mr Fieldhouse says: "The likely position of the pontoon means that ships would be moored in front of some of these properties and given the potential size of some vessels, this would clearly affect the outlook for local residents.
"However, the intervening distance of around 90 metres and the limited number of days per year on which ships would be present would limit the impact."
New shore-based facilities would include a new parking areas and a terminal building, including the possible re-development of the current Deep Business Centre.
Councillors are expected to vote on formally adopting the Local Plan, including the modifications laid out by the inspector, at a meeting next month.
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