Planning permission to develop the former Thamesteel site at Peel Ports Sheerness has been granted by Swale Borough Council.
Plans for the redevelopment of the derelict industrial site, as part of Peel Ports’ 20-year Master Plan for growth and investment in the Sheerness region, received unanimous support from the planning committee.
It represents an early commitment for inward investment in the region of £50 million and around 200 new jobs are expected to be created as a result. This is in addition to the 1,640 jobs the port already supports, whilst generating £83 million GVA each year.
The 50 plus acre site will now be developed to support new logistics facilities, which will allow for the handling, storage and distribution of commodities such as automotive, steel and forest products.
It will enable Peel Ports to respond to increasing demand for enhanced portside facilities, and there is already strong support from its existing customers GEFCO and Volkswagen.
Paul Barker, Port Director at Peel Ports London Medway, which includes Sheerness said: “The unanimous decision to approve the redevelopment plans at the former Thamesteel site is the first significant milestone in the progression of our 20-year Master Plan for growth at Sheerness.
“Not only will this allow us to breathe new life into a site that has lain derelict for four years, it will also allow us to reconfirm our commitment to the future of the region – creating new jobs and investment opportunities.
“We have been liaising carefully with Swale Borough Council, as well as local residents and businesses to ensure the proposals we have put forward will have a positive impact and help Sheerness maintain and develop its position as a leading deep-water gateway into Europe.
“We now look forward to turning these plans into a reality and seeing the transformation of the site over the next few months and years.”
The Port of Sheerness Master Plan details Peel Ports’ strategy for the sustainable expansion of the Port of Sheerness, including improvements in transportation and access as well as increased socio economic benefits for the region.
It includes plans to reclaim up to 125 hectares of land for expansion, mixed use developments and a new marina over the next 20 years. Peel Ports recently made amends to its original proposal to retain the former Garrison Hospital building in order to protect the cultural heritage of the area.
The Port of Sheerness, along with the Port of Chatham, forms the core of Peel Ports’ London Medway cluster. The company handles a range of cargo along the 27-mile stretch of the Rivers Medway and Swale, including forest products, steel and cars.
In June, Peel Ports opened new grain loading facilities at Sheerness in partnership with multinational commodities giant Glencore, opening up new opportunities for farmers in Kent and Sussex.