Port plans backed in parish poll

VILLAGERS have voiced their support in a parish poll for plans to create a deep sea container port on the East Anglian coast.In an historic referendum yesterday , residents in Ramsay and Parkeston were asked whether they opposed the controversial plans for Bathside Bay, Harwich.

VILLAGERS have voiced their support in a parish poll for plans to create a deep sea container port on the East Anglian coast.

In an historic referendum yesterday , residents in Ramsay and Parkeston were asked whether they opposed the controversial plans for Bathside Bay, Harwich.

A total of 255 people voted, which was a 13.7% turnout. It was announced last night 135 had said "no", while 120 said "yes".

After the result was declared, John Tipple, a leader of the anti-port campaign, said: "The battle will continue. We remember how a small town like Brightlingsea fought off a big company. We take inspiration from them. This was a tremendous result for us."

The parish becomes the second in the area to put dreams of economic development ahead of potentially "catastrophic" affects on the local environment.

At the end of March, residents in a referendum in Harwich and Dovercourt voted two-to-one in favour of multi-million pound proposals by Hutchison Ports (UK) Ltd to build a deep-sea container terminal.

Most Read

The polls have no formal significance in the planning application process and are just an indication of local opinion.

Campaigners opposed to the plans, which would change the coastal landscape forever, are now pinning their hopes on the outcome of a public inquiry that is due to report later this year.

Those in favour of expansion insist the area has been crying out for an economic boost. If the port receives the go ahead, it could become one of Britain's most important trade gateways.

Hutchison claim around 700 jobs will be created and has pledged to form new nature reserves. However, many moved to the area for its beautiful views across the River Stour and feel protective about the coastline and its wildlife habitats.

They also claim 700 new jobs is an exaggeration and have suggested that much of the workforce would be recruited outside the Harwich area.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter