Closure of resort mill one step closer

CLOSURE of Felixstowe's flour mill is today moving a step nearer as urgent action takes place to ensure all the land needed is available for a multi-million pound port redevelopment.

CLOSURE of Felixstowe's flour mill is today moving a step nearer as urgent action takes place to ensure all the land needed is available for a multi-million pound port redevelopment.

Executives are asking the government to grant a compulsory purchase order to enable the port to take back buildings and land it has leased, buy some sites, and remove the rights for others to use quays and pipelines.

It will mean closure of the Rank Hovis mill, which has stood alongside the Dock Basin for almost a century.

There is still uncertainty over the future of the Calor Gas terminal and DSM Bakery Ingredients, whose operations will be affected by the development.


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The land acquisition order being sought from the Transport Secretary Alastair Darling would prevent DSM from using pipelines and rights of way leading from its premises on the edge of the port to the quayside.

The whole of Calor Gas's 31,687 sq m site is also covered by the order.

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People have until July 28 to object to the order, which covers 600,000 sq m of the port in which other companies or organisations have an interest.

Most of this area is the southern part of the port which will be redeveloped to create new deepsea berths, if a public inquiry this autumn gives the go-ahead.

Part of the area, currently covered by water, is owned by the Crown Estates Commissioners and some small parcels are owned by Trinity College.

As well as rights of way and pipelines, the land affected includes the Port Viewing Area – which will be swallowed by the development and a new one provided nearby – berths, offices and car parks.

The Dock Basin is one of the most complex areas as it has been leased to a number of firms for business for so long. The basin – the original port – will be filled in and the Rank Hovis mill demolished.

Talks are still taking place with Calor Gas and DSM, which together employ 100 people, to see if the closures of their sites can be avoided.

Calor Gas will lose its gas pipeline from the oil jetty to its site in the port.

DSM, commonly called "the yeast factory", a world leader in the manufacture of baking ingredients, faces the loss of its pipeline to supply liquid molasses to the tank farm.

It has also been told that its contract with the tank farm operators Felixstowe Tank Developments (FTD) expires in December 2006 and would not be renewed as the port had decided to close FTD at that time.

The port project is expected to create 1,050 jobs by 2015, but concerns have been expressed about many aspects, especially the impact on the road network.

It will double the capacity of the port and add more than one million extra lorry journeys a year to the A14 on the Felixstowe peninsula by 2023.

n. What do you think? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or click on to www.eveningstar.co.uk and have your say on the forum.

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