Felixstowe expansion hearings slated

Felixstowe expansion hearings slated

Government officials on Thursday announced the date on which a public inquiry will start into a proposed massive multi-million dollar expansion of the Britain's biggest container terminal.

The inquiry into the redevelopment of the southern part of Felixstowe port will begin on Oct. 26 and is likely to last weeks rather than months with no huge environmental protest expected.

It will be held at Felixstowe's defunct P&O passenger ferry terminal. A pre-inquiry meeting will take place on July 12 at the terminal.

Executives at Felixstowe have said there is a "clear national need" for more container capacity and hope to start the expansion project in 2006.

Environmentalists believe the project will do the least harm to wildlife habitat as it largely redevelop an existing industrial site.

Plans calls for Landguard Terminal to be converted into a deepwater terminal able to handle the world's largest container ships.

It will also feature a new rail terminal, back-up storage land, and an extra 1,350 meters of quay, doubling the port's capacity.