A project to replace berth 4/5 at the Port of Ramsgate is to be delayed until early 2021 after Thanet council conceded than an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is needed for the replacement of the berth.
Thanet council says berth 4/5, currently used by Brett Aggregrates, is ending its operational life and the authority has a “legally binding agreement” to provide berth facilities for the company.
A budget of £887,000 is being used for the replacement.
The contract for the works has been awarded to Bam Nuttall – using one of the pontoons that was formerly part of a two-for-one deal rejected by councillors last December.
The contract start date had originally been set for September 14. TDC previously raised concerns it could be delayed because the MMO wanted the work screened for an environmental impact assessment.
Councillors were told delays could cost the authority up to £11k a week. It was then earmarked for a November start date but will now not begin until next year.
The replacement pontoon will mean there is ability for a huge hike in capacity for the aggregate conveyor belt.
The current berth was built in 1998 and refurbished in 2006 and supports a 400 tonne per hour conveyor belt and is capable of docking 90m vessels.
The new berth will be fitted with a permanently fixed 3,000 tonne/hour conveyor… “to facilitate future expansion for the landing of bulk cargos, the trafficking of mobile plant and with a lifespan of a minimum of 30 years.” It will be capable of docking 120m vessels.
The fixture will also be moved further away from the ro-ro berth.
A prior approval application under a ‘general permitted development order’ for the works at the Crown Estate leased site made by Thanet council prompted more than 40 objections with many raising issues including why there has not been an Environmental Impact Assessment for the site despite its proximity to areas of Special Scientific Interest.
Green councillor Becky Wing is among those who lodged objections to the plans. In her statement she said using General Permitted Development (GPD) was not appropriate for a number of reasons, including the lack of an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) associated with the cement batcher.
There were further issues raised about the application, including the lack of clarity over the expansion of the aggregates facility.
Thanet Green Party said members welcome the “belated acknowledgement” that replacing Berths 4/5 at Ramsgate Port will require an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), as Thanet Greens and others have argued since this was first proposed.
A spokesperson said: “Sadly, those in charge refused to listen. When TDC made an application to the Marine Management Organisation for these works, a senior officer went so far as to refuse our Central Harbour Ward Councillor sight of it, although the works were in her own ward. The present muddle and confusion are the result of this lack of communication.
“We believe full planning, environmental and marine licence permissions should be undertaken before this development can go ahead. Ramsgate Port is only a few hundred metres from the Pegwell Bay Site of Special Scientific Interest, whose delicate balance must not be disturbed.
“We understand there are fears that the present Berths 4/5 may fail over this winter. Under the notoriously badly-drafted Bretts contract, TDC rather than Bretts is responsible for replacing the berths. This being the case, we would have expected a business plan for replacement to have been developed long before now, but this does not seem to have been done.
“As a result, if the Berths are not useable TDC may now have to cover the cost of Brett Aggregates accessing their site by land – something that clearly could have been avoided with forethought. Any additional cost from the current proposed delay is clearly therefore the responsibility of those who should have planned for the replacement in advance and ensured appropriate processes were followed.
“TDC’s change of heart could not have been achieved without the welcome support of Ramsgate KCC Councillors Constantine and Messenger, certain other concerned TDC and RTC Councillors, and all those members of the local community who wrote to TDC to express their concerns about the proposed development proceeding without an Impact Assessment. We are delighted that so many residents, like us, want appropriate process to be followed so our precious environment is protected.”
Central Harbour Green Councillor Becky Wing added: “We have been working with the community and cross-party for a long time now on this issue and are pleased that the need to follow due process is at last being recognised. This is not about stopping development or change anywhere in Thanet, but about ensuring change represents real progress, about doing the right thing for people and the environment, and about ensuring council-taxpayers’ money is spent wisely. It is about putting people and places first. This is not the end of the community’s struggle to be heard and valued by our district council but the start.”
County Councillor Karen Constantine had also raised the issue of the lack of an EIA with the county authority. She said: “I have been concerned about Ramsgate Port and the potential to damage to our environment since I was first elected to KCC in 2017. It took me several years to establish that there was no EIA. In June, after a lengthy email exchange I challenged KCC and requested “that KCC provide the EIA urgently or can I draw the conclusion that it doesn’t exist? “
“The silence was deafening. It was clear that the EIA didn’t exist. Once this was established we were able to run a coach and horses through any potential development.
“Nothing should be allowed to damage our environment and marine ecology. KCC deliberately dragged their feet, they must stop ‘playing politics’ and should provide properly requested information to all Councillors in a timely fashion regardless of what party they represent.”
Oh for goodness sake just get on with it. Environmental Concerns ???? What environment concerns did the RAF do before they burned dirty engine oil week after week for the passed 50 years at the fire training school at Manston Airport sending plumes of black smoke over Thanet. Where was Lady Dawes JR and her taxpayer squanders “ friends” at RTC. Then? Just think how cleaner the planes landing and taken off at the airport will be now the burning has stopped.
Excellent news! #truthwillout
Great news. A victory for people power over the bureaucrats. Well done to all, especially Thanet Greens, who have pursued this abuse relentlessly. But do keep watching because if you stop them rolling over you they will try to find a way of going round you.
Give it a rest Ann! Change the record.You like the pontoon do you? Well then,is it OK if it is moored off Broadstairs and Brett’s process aggregate there then? I thought not.
John, its not area 51, its just a very bad deal for Ramsgate,cobbled together in Sandy Ezekiel’s reign at TDC, and now we all have to live with the consequences.What’s the alternative?
Is there a commercial port in Broadstaors George Noakes? I thought not.
What a ridiculous comment.
Ann, people like you stop the world improving. If you don’t have something constructive to say why not keep quiet? Thank heavens we have better environmental laws now and people that actually care. Thank you Green Party! Finally a party fighting for this area and forcing appalling TDC to follow the laws of the land!
Who is this Ann person? Sounds like a Russian chat-bot, everything was always better in the past. Like TB, polio, child labour, slavery? Yes, let’s live like we did in the past with no electric light, life expectancy 45 years, no NHS. Tell you what Ann, if you want to live in the past go to a third world country. Leave Thanet to be improved by people that care.
A major oversight by senior TDC officers in not knowing an EIA needed to be done. In any normal organisation the responsible senior Director would be held accountable for this. Not at TDC. The “diplomatic immunity” granted by the Chief Executive to that particular responsible Director means that incompetence will win the day again and nothing will done about it.
No no no I will not be denied my opinion just because you do not agree with it. Ramsgate Non lover. Restate non Resident George no it all nokes. It’s all very well the despot greens patting themselves on their backs because the fire training has moved from Manston airport. However it has Absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the Green party if the Green party was so popular how comes they never get any votes or at least not enough to make a table mat out of.
It’s not me who wants to live in the dark ages it’s you lot who want to stop any planning any in Improvements or any development which creates employment you a sad selfish bunch.
Ann, does your career know you’ve got her phone? Stop being naughty and give it back.
Markyct11 does your carer know you can’t spell carer? Silly boy, try harder.
Ann,you are like a character out of Dickens(most appropriate seeing you live in Broadstairs),I expect you met him.Which one are you Marley or Scrooge?
‘Are there no prisons or workhouses for them to go’
Leave Ramsgate alone, it doesn’t need opinion it needs investment.Nobody is denying your opinion, its just they are not listening to it, for good reason.
George you are just jealous, I own properties in Ramsgate and my mother who is in her 90s lives in Ramsgate so I own more in Ramsgate than I do in Broadstairs. Mark don’t be naughty darling.
Sea Lift Diving’s report of 3rd Nov, 2016 states that, ‘The metal thickness readings show that in general the barge is in fair condition for its age and if docked shotblasted and repainted it would last a good number of years. I would also suggest the barge is fitted with sacrificial anodes, because at present it has no anode protection. I would also suggest hat each hold is opened and inspected on a regular basis and that the pumps are cleaned’. This was the barge that Brett installed. TDC started telling us 18 months ago that it would not last another winter – that’s only 2.5 yrs after this engineer’s report. I don’t call 2.5 yrs ‘a good number of years’.
Who cares if you own properties anywhere? Nobody should be bragging about owning more than one house when so many people are either homeless or inadequately housed.
Marva go back to bed and do not get up until you start taking sense dear. Keep up with the brand flakes. Nite nite.
Ann, you really need to look carefully at what you are posting on here. You seem so unpleasant and insensitive.
Janet at last someone on here who makes positive suggestions. I fully agree.
The Greens position seems flawed. The absence of EIA for original consent means permitted development rights do not exist.
IE Greens stop the development altogether do not go along with development and EIA now. EIA now should be about identifying TDC duty of remedy.
As far as I know Bretts have to apply to TDC for a certificate of lawful development to protect their existing plant.
If Karen Constantine had pursued her stroke unit concerns diligently and in accordance with law, she would have been all over Bretts water supply and cumulative impact and hazards to health issues long since.