Email to councillors regarding New Thames Gateway Port

March 16th, 2010

Dear Councillors

New Thames Gateway Port To Rival Felixstowe

Further to my email yesterday (15 March) questioning the population basis of the Regional Spacial Strategy (RSS) and its derivative, the Local Development Framework (LDF), DP World have given the go-ahead for work to start today on the dredging necessary to accommodate the new ultra-large generation of container ships to and from the Far East.

The new container port is to be built at Thames Haven, Thurrock, Essex on a 1500 acre brown-field site plus additional reclaimed land, using the 23 billion cubic metres being dredged out of the Thames to make the necessary channel.  There appears to be a lot of enthusiasm and no opposition to this project, which includes a 60 trains a day freight terminal and doubling of the single track rail connection.  DP World claims it will remove 2000 lorries a day from our roads (many of which would be from the A14) by having more direct access to London and the South and West via the M25 (much of which is presently served from depots in the Midlands fed by Felixstowe and the A14).

Clearly this new port will be, as it is intended to be, a direct competitor to Felixstowe as Britain’s largest container port.  Hopefully Felixstowe will be able to hold on to the goods traffic actually needed in the Midlands and North as distinct from that currently transhipped to London and the South.

Plans are to complete the new port in 10 years’ time, i.e. in the same time frame as Felixstowe’s planned expansion.  However, at the very least this undermines the development assumptions about Felixstowe and surroundings implied by the RSS and LDF documents, and is surely another major reason for putting on hold on Thursday 18th March the LDF plans for major new housing developments, as I urged in my letter yesterday.

Yours sincerely

Professor Stephen Bush

UKIP Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for the Suffolk Coastal Constituency.

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