Bid to transform port

MULTI-million pound proposals to transform the oldest part of Felixstowe port are set to take a big step forward this autumn.

By RICHARD CORNWELL

Felixstowe editor

richard.cornwell@eveningstar.co.uk>

MULTI-million pound proposals to transform the oldest part of Felixstowe port are set to take a big step forward this autumn.

Consultants have been working hard on compiling background documents and studies since the scheme was announced last December.

Now port chiefs are preparing to submit applications for permission for the venture, which will revamp the whole southern area of the container terminal.

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Trimley St Mary Parish Council was told by port owners Hutchison Whampoa that applications will be made before the end of the year for planning permission and for a Harbour Revision Order.

The harbour order is needed because the massive redevelopment of Landguard Terminal, the former P&O ro-ro berths and the Dock Basin, will create a new quayline – 910 metres – in the estuary.

A letter to parish council from project manager Jane Stanbridge said an environmental impact study was being done and also a transport assessment, looking particularly at the effect of extra traffic on the A14 dock spur roundabout and Trimley interchange.

Councillors though are concerned at the need for a study of the interchange as lorries would not be entering the village at this point.

Chairman Richard Kerry said: "We need to clarify what the port's thinking is on this matter as this part of the A14 is an underpass and no lorries should be coming up the slip roads to the roundabout above at all."

The southern port development will create more deepwater berths by extending Landguard, Britain's first purpose-built container terminal, demolishing the mill and filling in the Dock Basin, where the port began in the 1880s.

With the current £60m scheme to extend Trinity Terminal – an extra 270 metres of quays, 40 acres of extra back-up land and a third railhead – the port will then have 3.7 kilometres of quays, able to handle 5.2m containers a year.

When both developments are complete, the port will be able to accommodate eleven deep-sea container ships simultaneously.

Work on the Trinity expansion is progressing well but residents can expect more noise from next week as piling work is about to restart.

Piling is expected to last 24 weeks with the main quay wall tubular piling taking up about 15 weeks. Port officials say the work will go on 12 hours a day but there will be no piling after 7pm and no work at all on Sundays.

Dredgers have been working daily in the harbour preparing the channel to the extension, being constructed on land reclaimed from the river.

The northern extension will take the port up to its Parliamentary agreed limits, just yards from the Trimley Marshes nature reserve. The quay is expected to be fully operational by July 2004.

WEBLINK: www.portoffelixstowe.co.uk

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