Planning committee unanimously recommends rejection of new port plans — MercoPress
Falklands: Planning committee unanimously recommends rejection of plans for new port
The Falkland Islands Planning and Building Committee (PBC) unanimously recommended that the current plans for the new port be rejected by the Executive Council. Following the decision, the committee adjourned to provide written reasons, — environmental and shortcomings — to the Executive Council (ExCo) for consideration when making a final decision whether to accept.
However, Clare Mansfield, BAM’s design manager responsible for the new port contract, responded to objections by arguing that there had been “extensive consultation” over 40 meetings and 30 workshops, which resulted in around 4,000 comments, which she said had been taken. on board by BAM Nuttall during the design process.
Similarly, the Falkland Islands Fishing Companies Association has pointed out that without the port there “can be little or no opportunity for real economic development for the islands”, but FIFCA has also pointed out, “shares some demonstrated concerns” related to costs, availability of commercial land and the dismantling of FIPASS.
However, as the application for the development has been made by the Falklands Government, it cannot be refused by the PBC alone.
The reasons given by the town planning and construction commission to recommend the refusal were: dust and debris from the dismantling of the FIPASS barges affecting human food; effect on the Seafarer’s Mission and Stanley Growers, both of whom were represented by prior written and verbal objections; the belief that environmental mitigation is not significant enough to minimize the impact during the construction of the new port; a lack of information on the dismantling of FIPASS, in particular on the quantity of material that would remain and what would be done with it; and the design and appearance of the port, in particular the Port Management Building and the Security Gate, both of which would be seen by many entrants to the Falklands using the port as a gateway.
The committee also sent a number of informative points to the Executive Council to consider whether to follow the committee’s recommendation to decline the nomination or not.
These informative statements were that there was currently no Roll-On/Roll-Off (RORO) capability at the new port, which would make it unusable for the Concordia Bay ferry; the access road through Stanley Growers land should be reconsidered; there is a need to clarify the water depth of the area once construction is complete, particularly as to the draft of the vessel this would allow; that further details come back to the committee; and more time is given to committee members to review these documents in the future – as it was felt that “a lot was asked” of members.
During the meeting, six objections were heard. These objections have raised concerns about noise disturbance affecting neighbours, chemical pollution on the food supply, lack of access for fishermen to the Seafarers’ Mission, the location of the access road to the port, the public consultation process, hygiene relating to the extraction of liquid waste and the drying thereof ashore, health and safety precautions at the port, environmental and mitigation measures, and proximity to the port with the ongoing unit for the vulnerable, among other concerns.
Clare Mansfield, BAM Design Manager, responded to objections. She said there was “extensive consultation” over 40 meetings and 30 workshops, which resulted in around 4,000 comments – which she says were taken into account by BAM Nuttall during the design process. . She noted that it was “vital that Stanley had a port”.
Ms Mansfield said that since arriving in the Falklands she had observed operations on FIPASS and had identified on one specific occasion that the Scout could have arrived two days earlier, the transhipment of fishing vessels would have been improved and every container would have been on and off. port “at least five minutes faster”.
In response to some of the comments, Ms Mansfield noted a number of changes following the comments to reduce environmental damage, effects on neighbors and ensure safety, and summarized that “consent is not not the end of the dialogue, it’s the beginning”, and there would be more information or changes added to the detailed design that may address concerns.
Since the planning request was made by the government, it cannot be refused by the PBC alone. The committee has recommended rejection and this will be submitted to the ExCo with the committee’s recommendation.
The Falkland Islands Fishing Companies Association commented: without the port there is “little or no real economic development opportunity for the islands”, but FIFCA “shares some of the concerns expressed” about the costs, the availability of commercial land and the dismantling of FIPASS.
On statements that this decision could cause delays, it was said: “We believe that with proper discussion, issues that have been raised during the planning application process can be addressed quickly and efficiently and that we will end up with a port that will play a vital role in the development of the islands for many years to come. (PN)