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Coastal Areas: Essex

Volume 477: debated on Thursday 19 June 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will commission research on the potential effect of the digging of a deep channel in the Thames adjacent to (a) the Canvey Island sea defences and (b) the Sir Richard Montgomery ammunition ship wreck; and if he will make a statement. (209630)

The dredging of the Thames to provide navigation, manoeuvring and berthing depth for the ships using the new port, will be carried out under Tidal Works Approval from the Port of London Authority (PLA). An application for Tidal Works Approval is to be submitted to the PLA shortly. The Environment Agency will be consulted on this application and will consider the impact of the dredging work on the flood defence structures as part of its assessment of the application.

The navigation channel, which will be deepened to accommodate vessels using the new port, is approximately 2 km from the wreck. D. P. World, the developer of the London Gateway Port, is aware of the existence of the wreck and the company’s dredging contractor will have no need to work in close proximity to it.