The scrapping of so-called ghost ships on Teesside looks likely to go ahead, reported the BBC.
Able U.K. won a contract with the U.S. government
to dismantle up to 13 vessels at its Hartlepool yard, and four ships arrived in late 2003.
But delays caused by environmental and planning concerns prevented any work.
Hartlepool Council has now removed the final hurdle, by admitting it can no longer block planning permission.
The dismantling plans were dogged by debate over the potential impact on the surrounding area and wildlife.
Last year, Hartlepool councilors threw out a number of planning applications by Able UK.
Now, the authority has said new government planning policies mean it has no chance of successfully challenging an appeal by Able UK to the Planning Inspectorate.
Able UK has welcomed the decision, which came too late to save an order from the US government to scrap a further nine vessels on Teesside.