Cost revealed of port expansion

EXPANSION of Felixstowe port is expected to cost more than £240 million, a public inquiry has been told.Terry Gray, senior manager responsible for development of Hutchison Whampoa's UK ports, said the main contract for the redevelopment of Landguard Terminal would cost between £200m and £230m.

EXPANSION of Felixstowe port is expected to cost more than £240 million, a public inquiry has been told.

Terry Gray, senior manager responsible for development of Hutchison Whampoa's UK ports, said the main contract for the redevelopment of Landguard Terminal would cost between £200m and £230m.

On top of this, the port expected to pay £12m for a new eight-track 700 metre rail terminal and new rail line to join the Trimley spur.

The figures also do not include money the port will need to spend to mitigate the impact of the massive redevelopment project - such as community benefits, improvements to the dock spur roundabout and dualling the rail line.

Mr Gray told the inquiry at the Hotel Elizabeth Orwell that construction of the new terminal will take three-and-a-half years and provide 190 full-time jobs.

It would generate 290 extra lorries every day, but this would only add two per cent to traffic flows at peak times.

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Most of the materials for the scheme would arrive by sea with tubular piles brought by barge, and millions of cubic metres of dredged material from the shipping channel used to reclaim land in the harbour.

New sea walls high enough to cope with rising sea levels will be built, including replacing the partially collapsed wall in front of Landguard Fort and which could be breached and the monument swept away without action.

Around 50 buildings will be demolished to make way for the terminal with their masonry ground to rubble and used to back-fill land.

William Filmer-Sankey, senior associate at Alan Baxter and Associates consultancy, said none of the buildings were listed but a small number had been identified as having a level of cultural heritage interest.

Most of these were connected with the port's early 20th century role as a seaplane station. They included five Admiralty oil tanks from 1911, and Shed 22, a steel-framed hangar erected in 1915-16 for assembly of seaplanes.

Mr Filmer-Sankey said English Heritage believed the oil tanks and Shed 22 to both to be of national importance but it was not practical to keep them in situ. All buildings would be formally recorded.

"In addition, Hutchison Ports UK has agreed to work with English Heritage to explore the possibility of translocating Shed 22. It, that is to say HPUK, has agreed to delay demolition of Shed 22 until phase two (of the development), which would begin approximately 23 months after the grant of consent," he said.

"If, before this, a new location is found, HPUK will allow Shed 22 to be dismantled and may make a contribution to the cost of this."

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