In its efforts to gauge local opinion towards its Bathside Bay container terminal development, Harwich International Port, a subsidiary of Hutchison Ports (UK) Limited, had a telephone survey of local residents undertaken. This survey was carried out by NOP Research Group, one of the UK’s leading independent market research companies.
The results have shown that, of the 500 people interviewed, 84% are in favour of the development plans, citing job creation and economic regeneration as the main motivating factors.
Only 7% are against the plans, with the remainder still undecided. Commenting on the results, Andrew Harston, General Manager of the Port, said:
“We believe that the development of Bathside Bay will be good for Harwich and we are extremely pleased that the vast majority of local people support our plans.”
“While the results are very encouraging, we will not be ignoring the concerns voiced by some residents regarding the impact on the environment. We are undertaking a full Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), which will used to develop the overall strategy for the project.”
The survey also identified that 66% of local residents feel that the A120 between Harwich and Colchester should be upgraded, whether the development goes ahead or not. Assuming that the development does go ahead, nearly 90% of those interviewed are in favour of dualling the A120.
Ivan Henderson, MP for Harwich, said of the survey:
“I have been extremely impressed by the manner in which Hutchison Ports have approached the Bathside Bay Development; they have been very keen to ensure that the local community as a whole are able to express their views and to have their concerns taken into consideration. I believe that this is just the beginning of an on-going process which will ensure that the Bathside Bay Development and the local community can co-exist.”
The new terminal will provide a much needed boost to an area in need of economic regeneration. When complete, the Bathside Bay terminal will boast 1,400 metres of quay and provide 500 additional jobs at the Port, plus many more in associated industries.