Berth 4/5 at the Port of Ramsgate is a floating berth which transfers aggregates from ship to shore. The existing berth was decommissioned in November 2020 as part of a planned project to replace the berth, as it had reached the end of its life. The Council has a contractual obligation to provide a berth for the handling of aggregates and a tender was awarded last year for the replacement of the berth.
In October 2020 Thanet District Council as the Local Planning Authority, indicated that an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) would be needed as part of the Prior Approval application for the replacement of Berth 4/5.
A statement was released at the time confirming that the project would therefore be delayed and further work has now been carried out to inform a revised programme for the project. The outcomes from the EIA are required to be completed before the marine licence process or Prior Approval application can be resumed. The project will also require an Appropriate Assessment in accordance with the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017.
The marine licence application, EIA and Appropriate Assessment will consider the proposed berth replacement works. Due to the need for some of these consents to be carried out consecutively, the commencement of works by Bam Nuttall to install the replacement berth has now been moved to mid October 2021.
This date is based upon the time required to complete the EIA and the statutory timescales published by the consenting bodies. A four week period is also included in the programme to allow the required dredging to take place immediately before works commence on site.
Brett Aggregates are currently bringing course aggregates (gravels) by road to their site at the Port of Ramsgate following the decommissioning and removal of the old berth last November. These road deliveries will continue until the replacement berth has been installed and commissioned. Finer aggregate (sand) continues to be delivered to the Bretts site by sea as normal. This is possible because the vessel that brings sand does not require a berth to transfer its cargo to shore. This vessel does not carry course aggregates.