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Home / News and Insights / News / BDB Pitmans advises leading port operator, Able UK Ltd, in first ever material amendment to DCO

BDB Pitmans have advised leading port operator, Able UK Ltd (Able) on the first ever material amendment to a Development Consent Order (DCO), made in relation to the Able Marine Energy Park. This landmark piece of work marks a step forward for suppliers seeking to provide marine renewable energy infrastructure from the UK and for developers who may wish to make more significant changes to their DCOs.

Founded in 1966, Able operates across a number of industrial and business sectors, facilitating the development of strategic land and marine sites. The organisation is a market leader in marine decommissioning and recycling activities and has a growing portfolio which includes offshore wind installation projects. The company is the provider of choice for a number of blue-chip, multi-national clients.

Located in Stockton-on-Tees, Able operates a number of sites across the North of England, acting as a provider of multi-user port facilities, offering full site reclamation and property development as well as ports and logistics services.

The Able Marine Energy Park, based on Humber Estuary, will combine manufacturing facilities with a specially constructed quay that is around 1,300 metres long, designed to facilitate the installation and manufacture of offshore wind components and other marine renewable energy infrastructure projects.

Rated as ‘Tier 1’ by the Legal 500 for Infrastructure Planning, BDB Pitmans’ Planning, Infrastructure and Public Law team is one of the largest in the country, comprised of nearly 50 lawyers (including 10 partners). Partner, Parliamentary Agent and former Board Chair of the National Infrastructure Planning Association, Angus Walker, led this project, overseeing a  team which specialises in large-scale projects in the energy and transport sectors.

The team regularly advise on Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects, as well as mainstream planning applications and act for a diverse range of clients, including local authorities and airports and organisations such as TfL, Highways England and the Environment Agency. They also support the production of leases, matters of due diligence, land acquisition and works provisions.

The BDB Pitmans team on this project consisted of senior associates Jo Purkis, Emma Dark and associate Aranya Tharumakunarajah.

Neil Etherington, Business Development Director at Able, commented: “We know that the team at BDB Pitmans are well-regarded when it comes to specialist DCO applications and we were once again impressed to note their efficiency, working collaboratively across teams to provide this material amendment in a timely fashion. The amendment will help to facilitate the increasing scale and demands of the offshore wind sector.”

Angus Walker concluded: “It was a pleasure to work with Able once again. As the market leading firm in the delivery of DCOs, our team is comfortable with the fast-moving technological developments associated with the sector and this complex, niche area of law. We were delighted to bring this matter to a successful conclusion and now have unique and valuable experience of material amendments to DCOs.”

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