Port Director Births at Totton
I was very pleased that the Director of Southampton Port, Alistair Welsh, accepted the invitation that I had pressed for and came to talk to us at Totton & Eling Town Council this evening.
He spent the first part of his talk informing us about the successes and importance of the port and it is undeniably impressive.
We had the chance to quiz him about Associated British Ports ownership of Eling wharf and what plans they have for the future.
The good news is that the serious contamination issues are now being addressed. There are apparently booms in place which limit pollutants getting into the nearby water courses. I was somewhat surprised to learn that the agreed means of dealing with the toxic chemicals on site isn’t to dig it up and remove it, but to dig bore holes and skim pollutants off the top, in a repeat process.
I have to date, had no information from the New Forest District Council about the process now being employed. It does beg questions about the effectiveness of such a scheme. I assume it has the blessing of the Environment Agency. In my usual way, I will start asking questions in order to learn more.
Mr Welsh told us that they had primarily purchased the site in order to safeguard its use to them for logistics and storage. At the moment, he has no long term plan for the site but seems willing to engage with the local Council over this, including the possibility of housing developments and items i raised, such as car parking for local people, a riverside walk and public open space.
ABP have taken some measures to tidy up the site, including an acoustic fence. They are actively seeking to minimise any noise nuisance, especially near the boundary with Eling Lane.
I welcomed some of the things they are doing, as well as the newsletter to residents.
I did not expect him to offer removal of the containers that constitute such an eyesore over the historic Eling quay, but at least we made him aware of the issue and the dialogue should continue.