Container port plan praised

By Annie DavidsonA PORT that could be the site of a new container terminal is ideally located for road, rail and shipping links, a public inquiry has been told.

By Annie Davidson

A PORT that could be the site of a new container terminal is ideally located for road, rail and shipping links, a public inquiry has been told.

Hutchison Ports (UK) Ltd wants to expand Harwich International Port onto adjoining Bathside Bay, creating Harwich International Container Terminal.

A public inquiry into the £300million scheme is currently being held in Harwich and is due to last for five months.

Andrew Penfold, a director of Ocean Shipping Consultants Ltd, told the hearing yesterday he believed there was a “clear need” for the terminal and it would be in line with Government policy for port developments.

“Bathside Bay Container Terminal would be ideally located in relation to the major container routings between the major north European ports and the world markets,” he said.

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“There is very little diversion between these sea lanes and the new terminal. In addition, the terminal's coastal location is preferable to a riverline terminal, which would require a longer access channel.”

Mr Penfold added Bathside Bay had good road and rail links particularly compared to London Gateway, where a container terminal has also been proposed.

If the project goes ahead, Bathside Bay would accommodate a further 1,400 metres of quay, 11 ship-to-shore gantry cranes and have capacity to deal with the largest container ships.

Since the plans were revealed in October 2000, objectors and supporters have launched campaigns and many are due to give evidence to inquiry chairman Ken Smith.

annie.davidson@eadt.co.uk

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