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Caithness News Bulletins June 2005

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Toxic ships threat to Scotland 'Ghost Ships' Claim Denied by Company - Scotsman
The Highland Council has made it clear that it will not entertain plans to scrap toxic "ghost ships" from America at the disused oil fabrication yard at Nigg, East Ross.

Convener Alison Magee said the Council could not possibly support the breaking up four decaying and ageing ships at the prime location in the Highlands.

She said: "The Highlands is renowned for its clean image and wonderful environment. Breaking up rusting and toxic ships from the United States is not compatible with our aspirations for the Highland - nor our expectations for the reactivation of the Nigg oil yard."

She revealed that Council officials had recently met and corresponded with Peter Stephenson, chairman of Able UK, owners of the vessels which are currently moored on Teeside.

Mr Stephenson had been made aware of the likely opposition to the decommissioning of the "ghost ships".

It had been made clear to Mr Stephenson that the current approved use for the oil yard would not allow the dismantling and recycling of any structures. Planning permission would be required for these uses.