§ The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport (Mr. Tony McNulty)
I am today issuing the decision on the proposals submitted by Associated British Ports to develop a new container port at Dibden Bay, near Southampton. The Inspector's report of the public inquiry held into the proposals between November 2001 and December 2002 is also being published today.
The decision and the reasons for it are set out in the decision letter.
After carefully considering the Inspector's report and taking into account all relevant considerations, I have decided to refuse permission for the port development, in line with the Inspector's recommendation.
The Government fully recognise the nation's and industry's needs for additional container port capacity in order to meet future economic demand. Every proposed port development must nevertheless be justified on its own merits.
One important factor in the making of this decision was the environment al impact of the proposals on internationally protected sites.
A copy of the decision letter has been placed in the House Library.