doc

CAMPAIGNERS will today present a 2,000-signature petition to Downing Street calling for residents to be consulted over the future of Marchwood Military Port.

Marchwood parish councillors are demanding that the Government seek the views of people living near the 330-acre site before taking any action.

As previously reported by the Daily Echo, Associated British Ports (ABP) has expressed an interest in the site, causing concern over whether road and rail traffic in the area will dramatically increase.

Parish councillor Fred White said that the issue – which has cross-party and cross-council support – highlighted the need for open and transparent democracy.

MP Julian Lewis is backing the bid and said: “We are supposed to be taking about the open Government and big society, and the reality is that people are not being consulted.

“Hopefully the Government will decide that it’s appropriate to consult with the local people and the district council, parish council, because the consequences could be quite considerable.”

Marchwood is home to 17 Port and Maritime Regiment, which is due to remain at the site regardless of what happens.

The Daily Echo initially reported in 2011 that ABP is keen to use part of the site as a car storage facility, which could create up to 400 jobs in a scheme similar to multi-storey compounds at Southampton Docks.

And it is understood that Liverpool-based Peel Ports is also interested in the facility, which occupies an area of the western shore of Southampton Water.

Mr Lewis MP told the Government in 2011 that residents were worried about the “nightmare” prospect of container berths built on land surrounding the main site.

Mr White said: “We are not being NIMBYs but we need to be informed and the Government should be about telling the electorate what is going on.”