Eling Wharf – What Happens Now…
I am very disappointed that the prospects of regenerating Eling wharf appear to be slim to zero, following the purchase of the site by Associated British Ports.
It must be pretty clear that ABP will want to use the wharf for port-related purposes, rather the well publicised grand plans that included housing, retail and a lovely waterfront walk.
I have spoken to the Port Director who says that little will change in the short term, but they are looking to deal with the serious contamination issues and tidy up the site.
I do not know exactly why Burt Bolton’s decided to sell the site, rather than develop it.
Theories I have heard include, frustration with the planning authority, New Forest District Council, the fact that a major supermarket dropped out of the scheme, the cost of sorting out the contamination issues and flood defences and finally, that ABP made a very generous offer.
Since the news broke, I have been busy asking questions of officers at the District Council.
I am particularly interested in what will now happen as regards the contamination issue and whether we can exercise any control over potentially more lorry movements and a worsening of the air quality issue (already exceeding twice the EU polluted air limits nearby).
The Port Director has told me that plan to “tidy up” the site, including new fencing.
I have asked the Town Council to invite him along to discuss any plans he has with locally elected members.
I don’t, for example, want to see any reduction in the green buffer that runs along the perimeter of the wharf at Eling Lane.
In fact, I would like to see it enhanced.
It would be nice too if we could get the large stacks of containers moved away from Eling Quay – a visible blot that overshadows a heritage site.
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At the last meeting of New Forest District Council, I was the only member of the Council who challenged them over their terrible record on recycling.