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Port inquiry re-opens

PUBLISHED: 12:56 06 June 2002 | UPDATED: 15:27 03 March 2010

EXPERTS in light, noise and the environment have been cross-examined by the chairman of a group opposed to plans to extend the port of Felixstowe.

Around ten Shotley residents were at the public inquiry which re-opened yesterday following the jubilee bank holiday celebrations.

EXPERTS in light, noise and the environment have been cross-examined by the chairman of a group opposed to plans to extend the port of Felixstowe.

Around ten Shotley residents were at the public inquiry which re-opened yesterday after the jubilee bank holiday.

Tim Mason, chairman of Shotley-based campaign group Starboard, said: "I want to make it clear that we in Shotley actually like ships and shipping. We wouldn't be living here otherwise. But it's one thing to welcome some of the shipping that's presently there, including passenger vessels. But what we are faced with is increasingly large container ships, a totally different proposition in terms of environmental effects and visual amenity."

Mr Mason said it was principally the noise, light and air pollution that concerned campaigners.

Bernard Postlethwaite, a principal consultant with Acoustic Technology Ltd, conceded that during the construction of the new deep water channel, there would be eight weeks of pile driving, when noise levels would increase.

He revealed there had been worries about the effects on teaching in Shotley Primary School, but he did not believe the regular dull thud that would be audible with the windows partly open would seriously interfere with communication. Mr Postlethwaite also described plans to put barge-borne screens on the water to try to muffle sound from carrying to Shotley.

Sian John, of environmental consultants Posford Haskoning, said the sea walls at Shotley and Trimley were in a poor state and improving the flood defences as well as laying new mudflats would help protect them.

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