TRANSPORT NEWS: Port firms fear effects of land controls

Port operators on the River Thames are facing land constraints that could put the brakes on their growth, a Port of London Authority report claimed last week.

The study, carried out by consultancy SQW Ltd to highlight the Port of London's contribution to the capital's economy, reveals that almost a third of operators think that land constraints may limit their operation over the next five years.

The report is based on interviews conducted with more than 170 companies operating within the Port of London. It finds that the facility provides more than 35,000 full-time jobs and contributes £3.4 billion to the economy each year.

A total of £1.3 billion of investment is expected over the next decade, which is predicted to result in a growth in turnover and tonnage, the report adds. But 17 per cent of operators have reported that they have insufficient land for their investment plans over this period.

There is a total requirement for 258ha of land for the expansion of port operations over the next ten years, the report reveals. Most firms surveyed have called for further port land down river from the Thames Barrier to be safeguarded from development to protect the commercial interests of the port.

The main constraints to operations identified by the 59 terminals responding to the authority's survey are existing plot size and a lack of space for expansion.

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