Land in spotlight for Port expansion

MORE than 800 acres of potential land for port operations has been identified in a major new study to assess the impact of the growth of the Port of Felixstowe.

MORE than 800 acres of potential land for port operations has been identified in a major new study to assess the impact of the growth of the Port of Felixstowe.

Community leaders are fully behind the £250 million expansion of the port - the first phase of which is under way - and say it could bring thousands of new jobs if handled right.

But one major headache will be providing storage sites for cargo, places for modern distribution centres, and offices and yards for port-related business.

The logistics study - carried out by GHK for Suffolk Coastal and its neighbouring authorities, the East of England Development Agency and the port owners - says 286 acres of land will be needed by 2023 if the port grows as expected.

Thanks to the input of businesses, the study has identified 820 acres that could be used, although 320 of the acres has not yet been officially set aside for such use, and not all of the land may be suitable or available.

Sites under consideration include:

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Trinity 2000 on Clickett Hill alongside the A14 at Felixstowe.

Innocence Farm at Kirton, also next to the A14.

Land at Fagbury Cliffs, Trimley St Mary.

British Sugar site, Ipswich.

Shepherd's Grove, Stanton.

Colin Hart, Suffolk Coastal cabinet member said: “The primary goal of the study has been to identify the key land use requirements and issues that will occur as a result of the expansion of the port.

“It will help this council and others to maximise the opportunities for increased employment and stronger local companies that a bigger port will offer.

“This study that has been drawn up with input from local businesses is an important step forward in creating the support that can keep Felixstowe as the number one container location in Britain.

“This study highlights the importance of ensuring that there is sufficient land available to meet the future demands caused by the growth of the port.

“If we do not plan ahead, then it could have significant economic repercussions for the port, but it would also be a missed opportunity to maximise the local job and income benefits of the expansion.”

Would you object to port operations being moved inland? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk