Calls for foot ferry at ports site

OWNERS of Felixstowe and Harwich ports were today urged to explore the possibility of a full-time foot ferry as part of plans for a multi-million pound new container terminal.

OWNERS of Felixstowe and Harwich ports were today urged to explore the possibility of a full-time foot ferry as part of plans for a multi-million pound new container terminal.

Suffolk Coastal council has been disappointed that the scheme for Bathside Bay does not feature a ferry across the mile-wide harbour – which would open up jobs in Harwich to people in Felixstowe.

It said a proper ferry service with landing stages both sides could prove a boost to tourist, employment and transport to the area.

But the district council has not objected to the plans for Bathside Bay, though it is concerned that the development could harm views from the resort, especially from its Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.


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Councillors have been not given the opportunity to discuss the project put forward by Hutchison Ports because of the timescale needed for comments.

Instead, council officers assessed the scheme for what objectors call "a monster port" and, after consultation with development control south sub committee chairman Ivan Jowers, sent a letter of response.

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The council has welcomed the jobs to be created by the development, but said it is imperative that lighting is designed to the highest possible standards to reduce light pollution in an area already lit by the lights of Felixstowe port.

Otherwise, the council does not believe that there will be a significant impact on the air quality, noise and vibration in the Felixstowe area.

The 250-acre Bathside scheme will make Harwich International Port the second largest container port in the UK – Felixstowe is the biggest – doubling the total quay length to 3,000 metres, and enabling it to handle up to four deep-sea container vessels simultaneously and around 1.7 million containers a year.

Campaigners say it will lead to noise, air and light pollution, loss of quality of life and destruction of wildlife habitat, and ruin the character of Harwich.

They have urged people to get their objections in writing to council chiefs at Tendring to ensure their views are known and taken into consideration.

The government will have the final say over the development after a public inquiry later this year.

n Are you worried that the Bathside Bay will have an impact on you and where you live? Or will it be good for the area? Write to Evening Star Letters, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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