Blow for Great Yarmouth Port Company as Harbour Revision Order bid thrown out

Great Yarmouth outer harbour. Picture: Mike Page

Stunned port bosses have been refused permission for a Harbour Revision Order (HRO), much to the delight of objectors.

The first day of Great Yarmouth's outer harbour inquiry at the town hall. Eliza O'Toole, vice chairman of the GYPC. April 2013. Picture: James Bass

Great Yarmouth Port Company (GYPC) chiefs first applied for the order in January 2010, hoping to take on extra powers from the archaic Great Yarmouth Port Authority (GYPA).

But their efforts sparked anger among locals, who say the £80m port - privatised in 2007 - failed to deliver on promises of jobs and a ferry link-up with Holland and was not 'suitable' for extra responsibilities.

The debate resulted in a heated three-day inquiry at Great Yarmouth Town Hall in April.

Deciding-body the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) showed its cards today, and GYPC deputy chairman Eliza O'Toole said she was 'disappointed' that the application was refused.

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'While we are surprised that the MMO has declined to make the order, we are clear that the order is desirable for the port which is why we applied for it,' she said. 'We nevertheless continue to own and operate the port as we have done since 2007 and nothing changes in that respect.

'We are pleased that the order was found legally and procedurally compliant, and in that context we intend to review our options in achieving the objectives of the order which would enable the management of the harbour in a more efficient and economical manner.'

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She said GYPC had met objective tests for legal compliance, but that the MMO had - 'on a purely subjective basis' - decided that there was no need to grant the order.

For more on this story, see tomorrow's EDP.

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