Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Agreement over new Wightlink ferry terminal

The New Forest's district council and park authority have withdrawn their objections to a proposed ferry terminal on the Hampshire coast.

A public inquiry is considering whether Wightlink can upgrade its terminal in Lymington to accommodate larger ships.

Opponents say the ships are harming habitats in the Lymington River.

The authorities withdrew their objections after the ferry company and Natural England agreed a way to mitigate the impact of the scheme.

Wightlink introduced three larger vessels to the Lymington to Yarmouth route in 2009 and they were allowed to continue operating despite a High Court ruling that their introduction had been unlawful.

The Lymington River Association (LRA) argued that the bigger W class ferries created a greater wash and were damaging the Lymington River with its protected mudflats and salt marshes, which are rich in bird and marine life.

Earlier the inquiry at Lymington Town Hall heard that Wightlink had agreed with Natural England that material dredged from the river would be used to replenish Boiler Marsh, a natural habitat in Lymington Harbour.

New Forest District Council and New Forest National Park Authority subsequently withdrew their objections to the scheme.

Despite the agreement, LRA remains opposed to the new terminal.

The inquiry continues.

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