Skip over navigation
* Image of the Portswatch logo * Images of cranes and a ship
Image of water
* * * *







Latest press release




Environment, Government
, Heritage, Local communities, Trade, Transport




Current port proposals   


Bathside Bay
Dibden Bay
London Gateway


More information   



Image of a crab

London Gateway (Shell Haven)

Proposed seaport development at London Gateway (Shell Haven)
London Gateway (Shell Haven) (yellow line encloses development area)

The Shell Haven oil refinery is located on the north bank of the river Thames in Essex on the east coast of the UK. It is:

  • adjacent to the Thames Estuary and Marshes Special Protection Area

Proposed development

The decision was made in 1999 to cease the petroleum refinery activity of the London Gateway site. Proposals have been made by P&O and Shell to redevelop the former Shell Haven oil refinery into a deep sea container port capable of handling 3.5 million TEUs per annum.

Objections to the proposal

English Nature is objecting to the proposed development with concerns that:

  • it will result in significant adverse effects on habitats and species at local, national and international levels
  • it is not in accordance with national and international nature conservation policy
  • the environmental statements are inadequate

Local protest group Shell Haven Project Environmental Action Committee (SPEAC) and Thurrock Friends of the Earth are also opposed to the development citing that:

  • 50% of the local community are totally opposed to the development, another 30% seriously concerned
  • employment created by the development is likely to be taken not by residents but by commuters
  • it will be accessed entirely over residential roads

Wildlife in the area

The proposed development would affect 60 hectares of inter tidal mudflats - a valuable habitat for more than 33,000 wintering waterfowl including avocets, hen harriers and ringed plovers.

Quality of life

The local communities would be greatly affected by:

  • traffic generation: 12,000 new vehicle movements and 60 new freight train movements per day
  • increased air, noise, water and light pollution
  • loss of open green space, wildlife and tranquility

For more information:


More information >

Image © RSPB

Image of water
* Royal Society for the Protection of Birds logo Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society logo The Wildlife Trusts logo Marine Conservation Society logo Friends of the Earth logo Transport 2000 logo Campaign to Protect Rural England logo The Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust logo

2004, Portswatch, [email protected]