Plea to MEPs over container terminal

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FORTH Ports is attempting to enlist the support of Scotland’s MEPs in its campaign to halt a rival container facility being built at Rosyth.

Chief executive Charles Hammond has written to all six members outlining his concern over Babcock’s application for an £85 million terminal which he believes is unnecessary due to overcapacity in the sector.

“The need for this facility is questioned by Forth Ports and two independent reports, as is the decision-making process, which we have been advised is deficient with respect to certain aspects of European environmental law. RSPB has also highlighted these issues,” said Hammond.

The Scottish Government has indicated its support for the harbour revision order which is due to be considered by the infrastructure and capital investment committee on 25 September.

Hammond added: “In light of the inconsistencies that we believe that the decision-­making process presents to European law and the possibility of challenge, we are writing to Scotland’s members of the European Parliament to highlight the issues.”

Hammond said there has not been a proper environmental assessment and has ­secured support from SNP MSP Angus MacDonald who has tabled eight questions to the Holyrood Parliament.

Keith Brown, the Scottish Transport Minister, has refused to meet Hammond and has argued that a public local inquiry held last year gave a “thorough and detailed examination of the issues raised by the objectors”.

However, Hammond points out that the inquiry’s reporters concluded that the environmental statement did not provide sufficient data to identify and assess the effects of the dredging on the environment.

A number of studies have indicated a fall in growth in the container sector while more capacity approved during the boom years is yet to come on stream. Grangemouth is already working under capacity.