Sections of Endeavour Wharf are set to be leased off to allow for development with the wind farm industry.
The area is currently used for car parking but over recent months the borough council says there has been a “number of approaches” by developers interested in using the port of Whitby as a service centre.
This week, Whitby Harbour Board agreed to permitted development at Endeavour Wharf and is now inviting proposals for investment and business from the open market. They will be measured against a set criteria and although the harbour board says it is not limiting itself to wind farm development the majority of interest has been in connection with using Whitby to service wind farms at Dogger Bank and Hornsea.
An evaluation panel will be set up to consider any proposals for development and it is hoped that they will be in place as early as next year.
Over the last four years the harbour board and the borough council have been working towards attracting extra investment and even set up an offshore wind project board.
A report put to the harbour board on Monday says Endeavour Wharf is under-used in terms of port related operations and the proposals offer “significant economic growth potential”.
Alex Richards, a council project manager said: “This report suggest a way forward for taking these proposals to the next stage.
“That is when the real work begins to iron out the detail and it is not until they are on the table that we will be able to sign a lease.
“There are a lot of things to go through – this is only the first stage.”
One issue that the council will have to deal with is the loss of parking spaces and revenue should development go-ahead.
It is hoped that loss of parking spaces can be mitigated by the park and ride and spaces in the upper harbour.
Loss of cash revenue through parking charges is expected to be offset by the incoming business.