[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Friday, 14 September 2007, 13:13 GMT 14:13 UK
Inquiry set for ghost ships plans
US ghost fleet
The first of four ships arrived on Teesside in November 2003
The scrapping of so-called "ghost ships" on Teesside is likely to move a step closer when a public inquiry is held into the controversial plans.

Able UK won a contract to dismantle former US naval vessels at its facility in Graythorp, Hartlepool.

Last year the town's council threw out plans to develop the dock into a recycling facility, but new government policies undermined the decision.

The authority will not oppose Able UK's appeal at the inquiry on 9 October.

In 2003, the firm won the contract with the US Government to dismantle up to 13 vessels.

Four ships arrived that year, but delays caused by environmental and planning concerns prevented the remaining nine leaving the James River in Virginia.

Last October, Hartlepool councillors threw out planning applications by Able UK to decommission all the vessels at the Graythorp yard.

Fresh policy

The firm said it would appeal against the decision, and earlier this year Hartlepool Council admitted that fresh government policy meant it could no longer block planning permission.

Able UK welcomed the decision, which came too late to save the order for the further nine vessels.

The Environment Agency has already withdrawn its objections to the plans.

The main application covers a range of proposals to develop the site, including construction, repair, refurbishment and decommissioning of all types of vessels, and the manufacture of wind turbines.

Q&A: Ghost ships
07 Jan 04 |  England

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific