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MP calls for a decision on port's £150m expansion project
MINISTERS have been urged to intervene to end the delay over Southampton’s vital port expansion.
The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) yesterday promised a decision “in the next few weeks”
– but this is more than a month after an announcement was expected.
Associated British Ports wants to expand four of its berths to be able to accommodate larger tankers in a £150m project that would safeguard hundreds of jobs.
But the major works must be carried out between September and March to avoid disturbing migratory Atlantic salmon.
Mr Denham said: “I set out why it was now so urgent to get the clearance, with ABP saying that they must hear in the next few weeks at the most to be able to go ahead in September.
“We took the opportunity to remind him how urgent this investment is and the damage that would be done in Southampton and the rest of the country if it doesn’t get the go-ahead.”
Mr Benyon promised to ask for a definitive date by which the decision would be made.
Previous applications to expand have been mired in red tape, beset by mistakes from officials and held up by objections from rival Felixstowe Port.