max temp: 8°C

min temp: 7°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Harwich: Bathside Bay bid hits legal obstacle


Artist's impression of what Bathside Bay could look like following development.

Councillors have hit out at a judge’s decision to allow a legal challenge to plans for a multi-million pound container port at Bathside Bay.


Jenni Meredith, part of the Residents Against Port Expansion (RAPE) group, was yesterday given permission to take her case to the Court of Appeal by Lord Justice Patten on three of her four grounds.

RAPE say planning permission granted by Tendring District Council (TDC) in February for the reclamation of Bathside Bay, Harwich, for the development of a port and a small harbour will destroy protected wetland.

The proposed £300million-plus development would see a deep-sea container port built at the site with rail and road links to the rest of the country.

Hope for the scheme’s go-ahead was boosted last month with Government approval for Assisted Area Status for Harwich, allowing firms access to grants for expansion.

Hutchison Ports (UK) Ltd first applied for permission for the development in 2003, which was secured from the then Labour government three years later. In 2010 Hutchison applied to extend the time limit from 2016 to 2021. This was approved by TDC in February 2013.

Lord Justice Patten agreed Mrs Meredith’s claims that TDC did not properly consider whether “overriding public interest” continued to exist allowing the “destruction” of a protected site to be justified, as grounds for appeal.

He said: “The planning committee’s decision, the effect of which is to destroy or considerably impact a European Site of Interest, should arguably have been based on compelling evidence of an immediate need or one likely to be fulfilled within the life of the planning permission.

“The fact the prior planning permissions lasted 10 years without development being commenced, it seems there is at least an arguable case they had no such material in front of them so either asked themselves the wrong question or came to a conclusion which was not open to them on the evidence.”

He also said claims TDC failed to properly interpret the National Planning Policy Framework could be explored further.

The matter will now go to a full hearing at the Court of Appeal. The judge also limited Mrs Meredith’s liability to pay TDC’s legal costs in the event of defeat to only £2,500.

Carlo Guglielmi, TDC’s councillor for planning, said: “It is very disappointing and the real slap in the face is he has limited her liability for costs. It’s absolutely disgraceful.

“In this day and age when a government is doing all it can to stop obstacles in the course of economic growth we have a judiciary treating us in this dreadful manner.

“The grounds are very thin and though I respect the judge’s decision I very much hope when it goes higher up they will see sense.”

Council leader Mick Page added: “Bathside Bay is one of my projects as I consider Harwich to be the jewel in the crown for Tendring.

“Anything which will delay the economic boost is not welcomed and the Assisted Area Status gives us the impetus to more forward very fast. This scheme should allow us to achieve jobs and prosperity for the area.”



Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other East Anglian Daily Times visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by East Anglian Daily Times staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique East Anglian Daily Times account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Essex police are investigating a robbery at Jaywick.

An 88-year-old Essex man suffered a broken hip when he was knocked to the ground by robbers who burst into his Jaywick home.

HGV drink-driver in court

A lorry driver carrying a trailer full of wine has admitted dangerous driving when weaving between lanes on the A14 while three times over the drink-drive limit.

Ipswich Park and Ride. Martlesham.

The two remaining park and ride sites in Ipswich could close in three years’ time if there is not a substantial increase in the number of motorists using them.

Doors reopen on the new look East of England Co-op Daily store in Woodbridge Thoroughfare. Staff members, left to right, Chloe Williams, James Buckles, Shirley Pierce.

Shoppers were greeted by the sight of a new-look Co-op on their high street yesterday, when a Suffolk branch of the store reopened following three weeks of refurbishment.

Part of Sue Brooks' photograph of pupils and staff at Fonnereau House School, Ipswich, in 1952. Are you in the picture?

I recently asked readers if they had memories of Fonnereau House School, Ipswich, which was in Fonnereau Road, close to High Street.

Dan Poulter with Lord Robert Winston

ES 18.3.11

Suffolk County Council’s cabinet training day at Elstree film studios in Hertfordshire has come under fire from Conservative MP and former minister Dr Dan Poulter.

South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court

A teenager must pay nearly £300 in fines and court costs after admitting being drunk and disorderly in Kesgrave.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder

Property search

e.g. Oxford or NW3
Powered by Zoopla

Digital Edition

Read the East Anglian Daily Times e-edition today E-edition

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24