Hutchison Ports (UK) Limited (HPUK), on behalf of its subsidiary Port of Felixstowe, has formally applied for planning permission to Suffolk Coastal District Council to reconfigure the southern part of the port. The necessary documentation was submitted on Thursday 6th November 2003.
The reconfiguration, which was first announced in December 2002, will involve the creation of a new, deep-water container terminal on the site of the existing Dock Basin, the ex-P&O North Sea Ferries terminal and the Port’s Landguard Terminal. Subject to the necessary consents, the new terminal could be operational in 2006.
The new facilities will have 1,350 metres of quay, dredged to a depth of 16 metres below Chart Datum, and will be equipped with 13 ship-to-shore gantry cranes. The application also includes the provision of a new rail terminal at the northern end of the Port.
Commenting on the planned reconfiguration, Richard Pearson, Managing Director of HPUK, said:
“The redevelopment of this part of the Port of Felixstowe represents an opportunity to provide the additional deep-water container capacity that the UK will need in coming years time, at the least environmental cost. Furthermore, this facility fits well with Government policy to redevelop existing facilities in preference to developing new sites.
“The Haven ports of Felixstowe and Harwich have a number of other advantages as the site for future UK capacity. The approach channel, at 14.5 metres below Chart Datum, is already the deepest of any UK container port. The ports enjoy an ideal location on the North Sea near to the other major ports of northern Europe, road and rail connections are already good and plans exist to improve them further, and supporting transport services and expertise are already in place.”
The Felixstowe South reconfiguration is one of a number of proposals to create additional container port capacity in the UK. Commenting on future demand, Mr Pearson added:
“The UK government will be faced with a number of key decisions on port development in the near future. It is vital for the future of the UK economy that the right facilities are built, supported by the right infrastructure connections, in the right place. We firmly believe that this can best be achieved by considering the various alternative proposals that have been put forward in the south-east quadrant of the UK at the same time. This will ensure the best strategic outcome for UK plc.
“With the completion of the Trinity III extension, investment in new equipment, and our ongoing recruitment programme, we will be able to accommodate UK growth at Felixstowe until such time as the new facilities come on stream.”
HPUK is planning a number of measures to mitigate the impact of the proposals. These include improvements to the public amenities at the Landguard Peninsula as part of the reconfiguration. These will include a larger public viewing area, additional car parking at Landguard Fort, and a bus stop and bus turning circle to allow better access by public transport.