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Offshore Wind Journal

Port of Ardersier site could be basis of renewables hub

Wed 02 Mar 2016 by David Foxwell

Port of Ardersier site could be basis of renewables hub
Ardersier, the site of a former construction yard, could form the basis of a hub for renewables

The Port of Ardersier, a former fabrication yard spanning 700 acres in Whiteness near Nairn, Scotland has been put up for sale, and could form the basis of a hub for renewables such as offshore wind. The site is being marketed by Valad Europe and JLL on behalf of Tony Friar and Blair Nimmo of the joint administrators, KPMG. The 700 acre site consists of 340 acres of developable area and a kilometre long deep water harbour, which is protected by a sand and shingle spit. The former owner of the port, Port of Ardersier Ltd, was placed in administration late last year.

Billed as a strategic development opportunity, the site has planning permission and adopted local development plan allocation for a variety of land uses including residential and marina, industrial, port related and associated renewable energy options. Formerly operating as the McDermott Yard since the early 1970s, the site was used to construct offshore platforms for use in the North Sea oil and gas industry and employed 4,500 people at its peak operation, before the port closed in 2001 following a fall in demand. Port of Ardersier Ltd was granted full consent from the Scottish Government in August 2014 to bring the site back into use. Since then the site has been cleared and remediated.

In 2014 the Highland Council granted planning permission in principle to establish a port or port services for energy related uses, having previously granted permission for a residential-led mixed use development incorporating 2,000 houses, a hotel, 500 berth marina and retail and leisure facilities. Both planning consents remain live. The site is adjacent to Inverness Airport, which offers direct flight connections to London and central Europe, including Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport. Mainline rail connections providing direct services to Edinburgh, Glasgow and London are located within Inverness city centre.

Jason Hogg, head of development land at JLL, said: “The Port of Ardersier offers a fantastic opportunity to purchase a large scale, remediated strategic site with a live planning consent for a mixed use development. Given the growth of renewable energy in the north of Scotland, the site offers excellent medium to long-term planning potential for a variety of uses. Mixed development land opportunities of this scale are very few and far between in Scotland. Once developed, the site will appeal to a wide range of potential buyers including international investors amid the increasing demand for renewable energy space”.

Previous proposals for the site focused on securing construction of offshore wind turbines and their foundations.

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