The Deep says Hull's £50m cruise terminal plans threaten its future
An image of the proposed cruise terminal next to The Deep in Hull (Image: Hull City Council)
By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 17 Dec 2018
Bosses at The Deep say proposals to build a nearby cruise terminal could "jeopardise its future" as one of the region's most popular visitor attractions.
They claim the aquarium's livestock, including its popular sharks and penguins, face disruption to their breeding patterns and risk health problems such as stress if the £50m development goes ahead.
The suggested new terminal for visiting cruise ships is being promoted by Hull City Council as the next big tourist boost for the city.
Land between The Deep and housing at Victoria Dock housing has been earmarked by the council as its preferred site for onshore facilities with a new cruise ship berth alongside in the Humber.
The site was chosen ahead of an alternative option to use Albert Dock.
Penguins at The Deep
Now it has emerged The Deep has lodged a formal objection to the council over the scheme with a number of international zoological bodies also adding their concerns.
In a statement, it said: "Having expressed concerns to the city council over the last two years, The Deep has continued to engage, listen and express its concerns.
"We do not feel that the progression of their plans so far lend evidence to suggest our concerns can ever be addressed.
"Therefore, The Deep cannot support the council's plans to build a cruise terminal in the proposed location.
"The proposal creates a number of threats that potentially jeopardise the future of The Deep as an iconic visitor attraction for the city and an education, research and animal conservation centre of international repute."
As well as their animals, aquarium officials are also worried about a potential loss of visitors, the development's likely impact on its existing business centre and car park, congestion on surrounding roads and increased air pollution in the area.
Aquarist Matt Legard counting fish in the Endless Ocean tank at The Deep in Hull (Image: The Deep)
The statement added: ""The Deep fully supports the council in the regeneration of the city and its ambition to create a cruise terminal as long as the focus is on a clean onshore power port on a less congested site.
"As it stands, we are unable to support the current proposal on our site."
The council, which has allocated a £9m budget towards the cost of the project, has said it expects the business centre will be demolished to make way for the new passenger terminal.
In a statement, the council said: "The Deep made no objections or representations to the planning inspectorate during a lengthy and detailed public inquiry on our Local Plan, which endorsed Sammy’s Point as the preferred location for the cruise terminal, and their board has been briefed regularly on how the project is developing.
"They have also had two representatives on the steering group for the project. They are also aware that all of the concerns they have identified will have to be addressed as part of the detailed planning work and impact studies that are currently under way.
"To this end, the council has worked extensively with The Deep to develop a joint tender brief for a specialist engineering company, of their choice, to provide comprehensive acoustical testing and design mitigations to protect all aquatic species.
"The development of the Yorkshire Cruise Terminal in Hull is a hugely ambitious project, is supported by many other councils across Yorkshire and is crucial to Hull’s City Plan and the future development of the city centre.
The Deep as seen from Victoria Pier
"We are confident that we can overcome the concerns The Deep has raised to ensure the development of this important project whilst continuing the success of The Deep."
Councillor Adam Williams, who represents the area, has always claimed Albert Dock or even St. Andrew's dock are better options.
He said: "While there is no doubt that there are potential economic benefits to building a cruise terminal in Hull it seems to me the site at The Deep is completely unworkable. They need to be looking at alternative sites."
The current timetable for the terminal project envisages constructing starting in 2022 subject to securing planning approval.