The government has given the final stamp to of approval to DP World’s £1.5bn London Gateway container port in Essex.

The Department for Transport has issued a ‘harbour empowerment order’ granting official and statutory powers to the new port, and construction work will begin later this year on the 1,850 acre site.

The development will house Europe’s largest logistics park on the site, comprising 9.5m sq ft, near Stanford-le-Hope, in Essex.

Mohammed Sharaf, chief executive of DP World, said: ‘This represents a significant milestone for the project and will allow us to progress with the development.’

London Gateway chief executive Simon Moore said: ‘This is an historic day for the shipping industry and the economy as a whole. We will be the UK’s first major port for more than 25 years.’

Jim Fitzpatrick, shipping minister at the department for transport, said: ‘The Thames Gateway is one of the government’s priority growth areas and this order will mean that work can begin to build the first new deep sea port for many years.’