Is It The End For Eling Wharf Plans?
I have it from a reliable inside source that the owners of Eling wharf, Burt Bolton Holdings, have struck a deal with Associated British Ports (ABP).
Apparently, staff have been told that ABP are going to be the new owners of the site.
I haven’t seen any other media releases confirming this yet but if true, it appears to me that this effectively puts to an end all the grand plans for developing the site for housing and a waterfront walk.
ABP have been buying up land all along the Waterside, most recently the Marchwood Industrial Estate.
It is all part of the strategic plan to develop both sides of the Test / Solent for port-related use.
It seems most likely that ABP will simply want to use the site as it is now, but perhaps more intensively, for storage.
The Port Director has told me that they have run out of space in Southampton docks.
It probably explains why I wasn’t able to get anything other than holding replies from Burt Bolton Holdings who kept telling me they were “in talks” with Planning officers at New Forest District Council.
Things had been moving at snail pace.
There are still major concerns about contamination on the site.
Only this week, I wrote to Council officers asking why no action had been taken to address the problem.
I know a lot of my fellow Councillors were very enthusiastic about the Eling Wharf plans and completely trusting of Burt Bolton Holdings who had promised to “keep us all informed of progress”.
It didn’t happen.
At this moment, it looks as though everyone’s hopes that the site would be re-generated are to be dashed.
I hope I am wrong.
Update: I have just received a letter from the Port Director confirming that they have indeed purchased the freehold of the site.
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This week, Monday 25th March, I was very proud to launch the manifesto for the Liberal Democrats in the New Forest, in advance of the Parish and District elections taking place on May 2nd.
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