Consent for an £80 million upgrade of Southampton’s Container Terminal has been withdrawn for reassessment after legal action from its largest UK rival. Hutchinson Ports, which owns Felixstowe Port, applied for a judicial review of a decision to give the go-ahead for major works to develop berths 201 and 202 into a new 500m quay wall capable of handling the next generation of container ships.
The Marine Management Organisation, a public body which gave the environmental consent to ABP Southampton in February 2011, decided not to defend the challenge. It agreed to reassess Southampton ABP’s application, as the environmental assessment of the effects of the project had not been fully examined, including the impact of more traffic.
The legal manoeuvres have delayed work to restore a lost fourth berth in Southampton after the increasing length of container ships has meant the existing deep-sea container berths, 204 to 207, cannot accommodate four large vessels at the same time.