Port of Lowestoft raises fears of ‘significant negative impact’ of Lake Lothing Third Crossing
PUBLISHED: 10:24 17 September 2018
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The Port of Lowestoft has dismissed claims by the county council that work on the Third Crossing will only have a “slight adverse” effect on business, and said that it could instead have a “significant negative impact”.
A report published by Suffolk County Council as part of the consultation period said that Lake Lothing would be closed for three weeks to all vessels during the construction of the bridge in 2019 or 2020, but said the work would “constitute a slight adverse but not a significant effect upon the operations of Associated British Ports (ABP)”.
But the port has responded stating that it has long-held concerns about the ongoing impact the bridge could have, and could have a “significant negative impact” during construction.
An ABP spokeswoman said: “The Port of Lowestoft plays a vital role in supporting the UK economy and this is set to grow as further major offshore wind farms come on-stream.
“ABP has long voiced concerns about the construction of a bridge that crosses the centre of the port arising from the permanent impact on port operations upstream of the proposed bridge as well as the marine safety implications as a result of the bridge’s location.
“In addition, the construction phase of the Third Crossing could have a significant negative impact on port operations in Lowestoft, as it will block for a number of weeks the passage of some vessels carrying vital cargo in and out of the port.
“Amongst other detrimental impacts, the proposed position of the bridge could also negatively influence major offshore energy projects, which could impact the long-term future of the region as a centre of excellence for the renewable energy sector.
“ABP has and will continue to approach discussions with the council positively and constructively, however, this is a complex process and a common vision that will safeguard the future of the port and the economic prosperity of the region is still to be reached between ABP and Suffolk County Council.”
In its report the county council confirmed that while the lake would remain closed to all marine traffic during those three weeks, the inner harbour on the eastern side would remain open, which is where all port traffic will have to travel to and from.