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Gillian Merron gives final approval for London Gateway Port

Gillian Merron gives final approval for London Gateway Port

DEPARTMENT FOR TRANSPORT News Release (056) issued by The Government News Network on 30 May 2007

Transport Minister Gillian Merron has given final approval to the proposed London Gateway Port at Shellhaven, Thurrock, in the Thames estuary.

This follows agreement between the Port promoters, P&O (part of Dubai Ports World) and local planning and highway authorities to ensure that the impact of the full development on the local area highway network is adequately catered for.

The Department for Communities and Local Government is, in addition, today granting planning permission for the adjacent London Gateway logistics and commercial centre and Business Park on the Shellhaven site.

Commenting on the decision Gillian Merron said:

"London Gateway will be able to provide much needed capacity for handling the UK's growing international trade in containers.

"This substantial development has the potential to provide many new jobs in the Thames Gateway Growth Area - already one of the Government's priority growth areas in England - including a possible 1,900 jobs which the promoters forecast for the port alone.

"It has taken time to finalise this decision. But it was right to consider carefully, and make appropriate provision for, the significant impacts that this major development will have in the growth area.

"This outcome reflects the hard work by the promoters, the local authorities, transport bodies, environmental organisations and others to reach agreement on ways to mitigate the impacts of the development."


1. London Gateway port, when fully developed, will comprise up to seven container vessel berths and a ro-ro facility along 2.7km of quayside on the site of the former Shell oil refinery at Shellhaven in the borough of Thurrock, Essex. The planned adjoining commercial and logistics centre will utilise the rest of the landside, brownfield site of the decommissioned oil refinery.

2. P&O applied to the Department for Transport for a Harbour Empowerment Order in 2002 to establish a new harbour authority and construct a deep water container port on the north bank of the Thames estuary. P&O in partnership with Shell also applied to the local planning authority for planning permission to develop an adjacent logistics centre and business park. The promoters' appeal against non-determination by the planning authority was considered by the then Office of the Deputy Prime Minister. P&O was acquired in 2006 by Dubai Ports World, which has continued to take the project forward.

3. A public inquiry was held into the applications for the port and business park, and into a Transport and Works Act Order for rail access, between February and September 2003 under an independent Inspector who reported in 2004. While agreeing with the development in outline the Inspector recommended significant conditions to mitigate the large scale impacts of the development, not least on the area's highway network. The Government agreed broadly with the Inspector's recommendations.

4. The Departments for Transport and for Communities and Local Government issued "minded to approve" letters for the full combined developments in 2005, requesting further work on agreeing the highway impacts, with further "minded to" letters in 2006 requiring the submission of binding legal instruments to address the substantial impacts on the highways network, which include the M25 Junction 30, and sections of the A13 and A1014. The Departments are also requiring a substantial travel plan to manage the development's traffic.

5. The project's promoters have reached agreements, in different forms, with Thurrock Council, Thurrock Thames Gateway Development Corporation and Essex County Council. This has enabled the Government to give final approval to the project as stages of the development are now firmly linked to delivery of highway infrastructure enhancements.

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