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£300m Liverpool2 container terminal given go-ahead

WORK is set to start on the £300m Liverpool2 container terminal in Seaforth after the Port of Liverpool was given final permission to start work next month.

It needed licences from the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) to begin work on dredging the River Mersey and site clearance for the new in-river facility which will be capable of handling the world’s biggest container ships.

A November deadline for any objections to work starting was extended by the MMO, raising concerns the project, due to open in 2015, could face delays.

However, the MMO has now granted the licences that means Port of Liverpool owner Peel Ports can now go on-site at the Gladstone Dock terminal, with work expected to start next month.

The Liverpool2 scheme is expected to create 5,000 new jobs at the port and in the supply chain, and it is likely jobs will start to come on-stream very soon, claimed Peel Ports Mersey.

The new facility will add a further half-a-million containers annually to the Port of Liverpool, taking its capacity towards handling two million containers in total a year.

Gary Hodgson, Peel Ports Mersey managing director, said: “Today’s news is a fantastic boost, not just for Peel Ports, but for the whole of the North West.

“Liverpool2 is a transformational investment which will generate sustainable employment and prosperity across the region.”

He added: “The UK Government is crying out for private business to invest in new infrastructure to kick-start the economy and boost international trade, and there are few better examples of this than Liverpool2.”

Earlier this week Peel Ports also announced it had successfully completed a £1.6bn refinancing deal which will fund the Liverpool2 scheme and associated works such as new warehousing and storage systems.

Ian Hamilton Fazey, chairman of Waterloo Residents’ Asssociation, said: “We generally welcome Liverpool2 except for the extra lorry traffic it will create.

“We have had meetings with Peel Ports Mersey and they’re very conscious of our concerns. Stuff already moves all day and night between Seaforth Docks entrance along the four miles of the A5036 to Switch Island.

“It’s very important Peel develops its rail-head and increases the transfer of freight onto barges on the Manchester Ship Canal.

“We’re anxious to work closely with Peel and want the jobs which Liverpool2 will provide. We realise the port must be able to handle the post-Panamax big container ships for it to survive.”

Joe Benton, Bootle’s Labour MP, said: “As a former shipping man it’ll be great to see this make us a gateway to the Atlantic again and the new jobs it will create.

“However, this can’t be at any cost, especially to the environment and Peel is being co-operative. Our roads are already overworked and the traffic volume will obviously increase. Yet there are two rail routes which could be revived and would greatly ease the road problem.”

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