Wednesday, 28 November 2012

HPUK's Bathside (Harwich) terminal under threat

HPUK, owner of the Port of Felixstowe, has withdrawn its most recent planning application for changes on its Bathside Bay terminal project, after the Government decided to call the plans in . .

Plans for a £300 million container port at Harwich in Essex have been put in jeopardy after developer Hutchison Ports UK withdrew its latest planning application.

Tendring District Council (TDC) said talks with the company and the government would take place next month in a bid to rescue the Bathside Bay development.

Last month, the government announced a public inquiry over the changes and Hutchison said it was concerned at possible delays.

In a letter to the council, the developer said it had decided to to withdraw the application “in light of the anticipated costs and delay” associated with a public inquiry.

TDC leader Cllr Neil Stock said the company’s decision was a blow, but he understood its reasons.

He told the BBC: “They must have been absolutely gutted when they heard the government had gone for a public inquiry and quite frankly I am not surprised they pulled the application.

"We constantly hear that planning should not stifle the country’s economic growth, but then the secretary of state for the department of communities and local government seems to go totally against that edict where Bathside Bay is concerned."

He said the development was vital to the local economy and its regeneration.

"I sincerely hope the delays do not mean that Hutchison Ports feel they would be better off investing elsewhere," he added.

Hutchison Ports (UK) has withdrawn its latest application to develop a container port in Essex, UK, following news that the British Government has opted for a public inquiry on the issue.
Harwich International Container Terminal (HICT) received planning consent in 2006 and was due to be built on Bathside Bay adjacent to Harwich International Port.
In a letter to the Council, Hutchison Port Holdings (HPC) said that it had taken the decision “particularly in light of the anticipated costs and delay associated with a call-in and public inquiry.”
The Tendring District Council (TDC) has expressed concern that this could jeopardise the whole development plan at Harwich’s Bathside Bay, vital to the local area’s future economical and regeneration plans.
Top level talks are due to take place at Whitehall in December to try to rescue the development.
TDC Council Leader, Neil Stock, said that he was frankly not surprised by the decision because the original application was made back in 2006.
He added: “We constantly hear that planning should not stifle the country’s economic growth but then the Secretary of State for the Department of Communities and Local Government seems to go totally against that edict where Bathside Bay is concerned.”
The worry is that HPH will go elsewhere now to invest. HPH refused to comment on the issue.

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