He also betrays a woeful ignorance of the economics of the container industry combined with a patronising and insulting attitude to those on the Waterside who would be most affected by any such development.
The following facts are pertinent. The first two super-size container berths at London Gateway are now opened. These will be followed over the next 20 years by eight further berths coming on stream incrementally in accordance with market demand at a fraction of the cost of any new-build at Dibden Bay, even if permission for the latter is ever granted – a very big if indeed.
Furthermore, the operators at Felixstowe now have the go-ahead to develop four additional container berths at Harwich. Again, this is a cheaper option than the huge multi-million pound up-front costs associated with any Dibden Bay scheme, which would have to include environmental mitigation measures and a major dredge to accommodate big container vessels.
Another factor favouring the above over the Solent is that these facilities lie directly opposite the key entrepots of Rotterdam and Antwerp.
Thus, logically, logistically and financially the container trade will gravitate to London and the Thames Estuary, where a massive industrial footprint and all the relevant permissions for expansion are already in place to meet demand for decades ahead.
COUNCILLOR DI BROOKS, Totton (Conservative).