Jobs could be lost if alternative location is not found for company

The Port of Felixstowe.

The Port of Felixstowe. - Credit: Archant

Eight jobs could be under threat at the country’s oldest refrigerated container services company if a £40million expansion project at the Port of Felixstowe gets the go-ahead.

Eldapoint Ltd in Sub-station Road will lose its premises to make way for the 50-acre logistics park – and is in discussions with the port and Bidwells, agents for the landowners Trinity College, over a solution.

The company has objected to the plans and told Suffolk Coastal council that no alternative site for the business had yet been offered.

It says that loss of the site – used for storage and repair facilities for cargo and freight containers arriving at the port – will cost it £750,000 a year, and in addition to the loss of eight jobs at Felixstowe could threaten employment elsewhere in the company.

Suffolk Coastal’s planning committee is recommended on Thursday to approve the plans for the first phase of the new distribution park – four huge warehouses, providing almost 1million sq ft of space tailored to the needs of customers.

The project will reuse the site of the old Calor Gas Terminal liquid propane gas installation, part of the Tank Farm bulk liquids storage centre area, and haulage yards.

In a letter to the council, Shoosmiths, acting on behalf of Eldapoint, said: “Our client’s business at Felixstowe is a critical element of its overall business services, with its contribution to the company as a whole being in the region of £750,000 per year.

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“The services provided by our client from the property are considered to be essential in maintaining as efficient and integrated logistics chain at the port.”

Eldapoint is in talks with the port and the landowners over potential sites for alternative premises.

Council planning case officer Liz Beighton said: “In response to the objection, the applicant has stated that the lease on the site expires on July 10, 2016, and that they will continue to work with the tenants as the project progresses including the possibility of relocating to alternative locations on the port where viable.

“Whilst it is unfortunate that the proposals would result in the displacement of an existing tenant, however, it needs to be acknowledged that the lease is due to expire in 2016 and in the intervening period it is hoped that the parties between themselves can reach a solution in terms of relocation.”