Plans to transform part of a large industrial site beside Southampton Water are set to be debated at a public meeting.

ABP Solent Gateway is just weeks away from embarking on a project to redevelop a 21-acre site at Marchwood Military Port, which it runs on behalf of the Ministry of Defence.

Work on the scheme is due to begin next month and is unlikely to finish before September.

People living near the site are invited to a public meeting at Marchwood Village Hall on February 28 at 7pm.

Daily Echo: ABP Solent Gateway is preparing to redevelop part of Marchwood Military Port, which it runs on behalf of the MoDABP Solent Gateway is preparing to redevelop part of Marchwood Military Port, which it runs on behalf of the MoD (Image: ABP)

A flyer advertising the meeting says: "The development will expand the port by creating an improved and usable space to accommodate MoD operations and emerging commercial opportunities."

The scheme features a new site entrance that aims to ease congestion on Cracknore Hard.

READ MORE: Civilian company that runs Marchwood Military Port is acquired by Associated British Ports

Other proposed improvements include extensive landscaping, plus better pedestrian and cycle links to other parts of the Marchwood area, including Main Road.

The flyer says speakers will outline the measures that have been drawn up to minimise the scheme's impact on the local community.

Daily Echo: Cllr David Harrison is urging ABP to make maximum use of the old Totton to Fawley branch line, which still serves the portCllr David Harrison is urging ABP to make maximum use of the old Totton to Fawley branch line, which still serves the port (Image: Newsquest)

Planning permission for the scheme - part of a much larger project - was granted by New Forest District Council in 2022.

A council report said: "The proposals are for the phased intensification of Marchwood Military Port, including the construction of hardstanding for storage areas.

"Although more HGV movements will take place the operation of the site and controls provided by proposed planning conditions will mitigate the impacts.

"Whilst significant open areas of the site will be developed, 23 hectares of land will be enhanced with new landscaping."

READ MORE: Plan to redevelop part of Marchwood Military Port given go-ahead by New Forest District Council

In a statement issued at the time, Solent Gateway said the proposed development would modernise the port's operations and facilities as well as create jobs and attract investment to the area.

It added: "These improvements will allow a wide range of cargoes and commodities to be transported through the port and stored onsite."

In 2023 Solent Gateway was acquired by Associated British Ports (ABP), which owns Southampton docks.

As reported in the Daily Echo, campaigners fear ABP's desire to upgrade the port poses a new threat to neighbouring Dibden Bay.

Marchwood county councillor David Harrison said: "I think the biggest single negative aspect will be extra traffic on our already congested and crumbing local roads."

Cllr Harrison urged ABP to make maximum use of the railway line that still serves the port, having previously supplied Fawley refinery as well.