The Wallasea Project

»«Tuesday 26th January 2010

The Wallasea Project, a development of Wallasea Island by the combined efforts of the RSPB and the Crossrail Project, continues. The Liaison Committee attended a meeting in South Woodham Ferrers on 26th January, designed to keep the various interested parties up to date with the latest developments.

This is Edwin Buckley's report of the meeting.

There are a number of specific planning requirements that have been requested by ECC committees; these require addition specific information before any works or unloading can proceed. These additional planning requests are being dealt with by RSPB in conjunction with Crossrail. It is envisaged that RSPB submissions will be returned to ECC by the end of February.

The Crossrail spokesperson advised that the tender for the movement of equipment and the removal of spoil was in the first stages of tendering. The publication to invite companies to express an interest in competing for the works, has been published. This is a European tender. We were advised that the unloading facility will be built July – September and the first ships will arrive in October or November 2010. These ships will bring the material from the diggings to create the room to get the tunnelling equipment into position. Tunnelling will be in full operation late 2011.

Shipping movements The London loading is tide constrained; this means most vessels of the 2500 tonne type will leave around high water. The journey to Wallasea is 62 miles.

It is proposed that there will be five ships per day late 2011. The unloading facility will be able to unload two vessels on the pontoon and the materials will be taken away from the pontoon by conveyor to a specific storage area on the island. The unloading facility will be lit with the necessary navigation lights and has beacons that will flash when vessels are moving to and from the pontoon.

Horse Shoal A survey of the river is currently being carried out by the Port of London Authority (PLA) to provide the necessary data to show the river bed as it is now and this will be used to reference the RSPB surveys throughout the Crossrail project; the cost of this will be provided by Crossrail. After the survey the Crouch Harbour Authority (CHA) may move Mark No 1 to give more room between ships unloading and the Horse Shoal. The Horse Shoal Buoy may also be moved dependent on the results. Other markings may be added to assist leisure users.

Another point raised was the question of the removal of the pontoon. Looking at the planning consent and the CHA agreement, the pontoon will be removed before or at the end of the planning consent.

Edwin Buckley