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Planning application for Marchwood military port expansion submitted to NFDC

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"MILESTONE" plans to expand Marchwood military port's commercial use have been submitted to New Forest District Council with the promise of new jobs and investment.

Solent Gateway Ltd, which was awarded a 35-year concession to develop and manage the port by the Ministry of Defence in 2016, said the proposals will enable a wider range of cargo to be transported and stored on-site.

The application includes additional hardstanding, a warehouse, landscaping, enhanced welfare and security facilities as well as improvements to the port's road and rail network.

A CGI of Solent Gateway entrance proposed at Marchwood military port
A CGI of Solent Gateway entrance proposed at Marchwood military port

There have already been concerns lodged with NFDC about the project bringing more noise and traffic to local roads.

But port director Richard Parkinson said: “The submission of our planning application to the local authority is a significant milestone in the development of Marchwood port and the benefits we hope to deliver to the local and national economy.

"This application is the product of many months of work by our specialist project team and extensive consultation with stakeholders and communities.

"If approved, the development will unlock [the port's] potential, attracting investment and exciting opportunities for both the local area and the wider region. As well as creating new jobs, Marchwood Port will be one of the first sites able to deliver opportunities generated by the Solent Freeport programme."

As reported in the A&T, parts of the Waterside were include by the chancellor in the local freeport, one of eight in the UK promoted as offering tax breaks and investment opportunities post-Brexit.

Mr Parkinson added: “We will continue to work with the local community as the proposals move forward.”

The port expansion would increase commercial activity and create new jobs
The port expansion would increase commercial activity and create new jobs

Cllr David Harrison, county councillor for Totton and Marchwood, said he "had concerns" about the proposed commercial use of the site.

He said: "Basically, I want to minimise the increase in lorry movements as much as possible, whilst making better use of the existing railway line, or even the port itself. We all value employment and the positive impact on the economy but it needs to be balanced with environmental and people issues."

The application has drawn four letters of objection so far, with locals concerned about an increase in noise, pollution and traffic.

One called for operating restrictions to be imposed and said: "Restrictions should be placed upon this development only to be overridden in the case of operational necessity for military use.

"These hours would be, say, 8am-5pm Monday to Friday and no weekend working, especially in the case of moving containers which produces sound peaks that are way over the overall noise effect calculated."

A decision is scheduled from NFDC after the deadline for public comments on 10th September.

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