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Last Updated: Wednesday, 20 April, 2005, 09:21 GMT 10:21 UK
Appeal for 'ghost ship' comments
Ghost ship
Four of the vessels are currently moored in Hartlepool
Residents of a Teesside town are being urged to have their say on controversial plans to dismantle former US naval ships.

Hartlepool-based Able UK has submitted planning applications for the development of its Graythorp yard.

The proposals to dismantle the so-called "ghost ships" have attracted criticism from environmental groups.

People living in the town have the opportunity to submit their comments to Hartlepool Council until 29 April.

Earlier drop-in sessions organised by the council and the Environment Agency were attended by around 150 local people, but there is still time for residents to comment.

Dismantling the so-called 'ghost ships' would involve the building of three new quays, a construction area and a dry dock gate.

'Well attended'

Green campaigners, including Friends of the Earth, claim the vessels contain high levels of toxins.

But Able UK says it can handle the vessels safely and that the contract could create a 30m a year business, generating at least 200 new jobs.

Roy Merrett, the council's principal planning officer, said: "The drop-in sessions were well attended and it was an excellent opportunity for people to find out more about the proposals. However, it is still not too late if people want to submit their comments."

The Environment Agency has also received applications from Able UK for new waste management licences, and residents have until 24 June to comment on these.

Q&A: Ghost ships
07 Jan 04 |  England

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