Posted: Sun 12th Jun 2016

Councils Welcome Orthios Update

This article is old - Published: Sunday, Jun 12th, 2016

Anglesey County Council and Holyhead Town Council have welcomed an update given by the developers of the Orthios Eco Park. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Orthios recently met representatives from both Councils to provide an insight into how their plans for a 299MWe Biomass Energy Centre and Eco Park on the former Anglesey Aluminium site at Holyhead are developing. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

CEO Sean McCormick updated the councils that Orthios’ team are working all over the world with their engineering and design professionals on this multi-million-pound development to establish its Power and Eco Park project in Holyhead. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Plans are well advanced now with site clearance and demolition works due to start late summer 2016. Assurance was also given that local companies will be given the opportunity to participate in these works. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Mr McCormick also moved to allay concerns about plans to use the site’s former small medical block as a care, assessment and support centre for victims of modern slavery. He explained how Orthios are only acting as the landlord and offering a rent free arrangement to North Wales Anti Human Trafficking project, forming part of the company’s commitment to playing a proactive role as a socially responsible community partner. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Orthios were approached by the North Wales Anti Human Trafficking project and the Soroptimists who highlighted the issue and the Orthios Board felt they were in a position to offer support through the use of a small unused part of a building. Mr McCormick stressed that the new centre would not be used as a secure area to house refugees ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

He explained, “In the main, this part of the site will be refurbished to meet Orthios’ needs in terms of office accommodation. However, we have agreed to make part of the facility available in the event of any major emergencies locally as well as meet the short term needs of any North Wales Anti Human Trafficking project, if needed.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“We are told the numbers of modern slavery victims are small, with those affected spending a day or two on site before moving on to safe support services elsewhere in the country.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The support centre would provide a safe refuge and immediate care for those who have been rescued from modern day slavery intercepted in Holyhead, Anglesey or North Wales. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Anglesey Chief Executive, Dr Gwynne Jones, said, “There has certainly been a great deal of misinformation locally, and in hindsight both Orthios and the County Council should have engaged with the local community and residents before the planning application for change of use of the building was submitted. I’m pleased that the company has now met with local representatives and explained its plans in more detail.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The Mayor of Holyhead, Councillor Ann Kennedy, added, “We were pleased to meet with Orthios and hear representatives outline their plans for the former Anglesey Aluminium site. As a Town Council, we’re eager to see the Orthios Eco Park project succeed and bring with it significant employment and supply chain benefits to Holyhead. We also hope to see continued dialogue with the Town Council, so that the residents of Holyhead are kept fully informed of any future plans.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Officers at Anglesey’s Planning Service have – under delegated powers – granted permission for change of use of the former medical building to meet the needs of the North Wales Anti-Human Trafficking project. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Construction of the Orthios Biomass Energy Centre (which received planning consent from DECC in 2014) together with further proposals for an Eco Park could lead to the creation of around 800-1000 construction jobs and c. 700 permanent jobs. Work on the biomass plant is expected to begin next year. There would also be opportunities to create further employment through additional complementary businesses on the site. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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