Aggregates to arrive at Ramsgate Port by road until at least October due to berth work delay

The berth is used by Brett Aggregates at Ramsgate Port

Aggregates firm Brett’s will continue to bring supplies to its Ramsgate Port site by road until at least the end of October due to a delay in replacing the firm’s berth.

Floating Berth 4/5 transfers aggregates from ship to shore but the existing berth was decommissioned in November when Thanet council said it needed to be removed “as a matter of urgency.”

The council said the berth required significant maintenance last year to keep it in service and had suffered damage during the high winds and rough seas.

The berth replacement work was originally postponed until early this year after Thanet council conceded than an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is needed.

But now Thanet council says the replacement of the berth will not begin until mid-October.

The old Berth 4/5

The council has a contractual obligation to provide a berth for the handling of aggregates and a tender was awarded to Bam Nuttall last year for the replacement of the berth, using one of the pontoons that was formerly part of a two-for-one deal rejected by councillors in December 2019.

In October Thanet District Council acknowledged that an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) would be needed as part of the Prior Approval application for the replacement of Berth 4/5.

A statement was released at the time confirming that the project would be delayed and further work has now been carried out on a revised programme for the project.

The  outcomes from the EIA are required to be completed before a marine licence process or Prior Approval application can be resumed.  The project will also require an Appropriate Assessment for conservation of habitats and species.

The delayed date for works is due to the need for these consents to be carried out consecutively.

Bam Nuttall pontoon Photo Brian Whitehead

Thanet council says: “This date is based upon the time required to complete the EIA and the statutory timescales published by the consenting bodies.  A four week period is also included in the programme to allow the required dredging to take place immediately before works commence on site.

“Brett Aggregates are currently bringing course aggregates (gravels) by road to their site at the Port of Ramsgate following the decommissioning and removal of the old berth last November.

“These road deliveries will continue until the replacement berth has been installed and commissioned.  Finer aggregate (sand) continues to be delivered to the Bretts site by sea as normal.  This is possible because the vessel that brings sand does not require a berth to transfer its cargo to shore.  This vessel does not carry coarse aggregates.”

A budget of £887,000 is being used for the replacement.

Last year councillors were told delays could cost the authority up to £11k a week.

The replacement pontoon will mean there is capability for a hike in capacity for the aggregate conveyor belt. The old berth supported a 400 tonne per hour conveyor belt and was 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.

Dozens of objections were lodged against the  proposal for a much larger replacement facility.

A prior approval application under a ‘general permitted development order’ for the works at the Crown Estate leased site has been made by Thanet council.

But  issues raised include why there has not been an Environmental Impact Assessment for the site despite its proximity to areas of Special Scientific Interest; why the council is paying for improvements not requested by Brett Aggregates, which leases the site; why the increased aggregates capacity and whether industrial expansion is planned.


  1. OMG and how much is this costing the residents of Thanet for not meeting contractural agreements. It would appear that Brett’s potentially have a claim.

  2. So another half million or so destined to be wasted for lack of proper management. But no problem the good old TDC council taxpayer won’t mind. The Dreamland cash will have to stretch even further.

  3. Bretts are holding internal inquiry re the failure of TDC to include water supply in EIA for original consent.

    The water supply 2009 to 2019 (as far as it concerns Bretts) has the question of PFAS chemicals, courtesy of Manston aquifer, looming over it

    The Environment Agency, moving towards enforcement of United Nations Stockholm Convention nationally, will prioritise former fireschools and foam laying runways.

    Since Thanet water supply relied on abstraction from Manston aquifer never tested for PFAS chemicals (Up till 2019 when I called in DEFRA Drinking Water Inspectorate to secure ban on Manston aquifer as public water source) questions arise re how TDC has stubbornly maintained an empty contaminated land register.

  4. Surely everyone knows that the new conveyor will be constructed for rubbish transfer?
    Containers of refuse will be brought down from London (on electric barges) to Ramsgate port, tipped onto the conveyor, transported (initially, until they can get the full 3km fixed up) to Bretts’ site, where it will be macerated, mixed with effluent, and pumped along the new sewerage pipeline installed by Southern Water to their Wetherlees plant.
    Once the whole conveyor is completed, the refuse will be conveyed directly to the treatment plant through the Pegwell Bay nature reserve.
    It must be true (mostly) because a prolific local blogger has said so.

    • I read the article! Can’t believe the amount of money this must be costing and environmentally sounds terrible. It seems a logistic and bureaucratic nightmare!
      Needs some common sense!

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