Logistics company Stobart Group today received a Harbour Revision Order from the Department of Transport granting permission for the redevelopment of the Port of Weston in Cheshire.
The order will come into effect on 27 February and will allow Stobart to redevelop the port into a fully functioning bulk shipping and coastal feeder port comprising up to 400,000 sq ft of warehouses and container handling facilities capable of handling 1m tonnes of freight a year.
The 50 acre port facility is located close to Stobart’s O’Connor rail integration facility in Widnes. The order also appoints Westlink Holdings, the wholly owned subsidiary of the Stobart Group, as the statutory port authority for the Port of Weston.
Andrew Tinkler, chief executive at Stobart Group, said: ‘By returning the Port of Weston to a fully functioning port, we will further enhance our range of cost-effective logistics solutions for our customers, whilst helping to reduce carbon emissions and the amount of freight transported around the country's road network.'
The Department of Transport’s decision follows a public inquiry into whether ownership of the port should have been transferred from British Waterways to Stobart Group.
Stobart, which operates one of the UK’s largest road haulage fleets and a specialist rail freight service, bought the port through its asset swap with the Westbury Property Fund last year.
Westbury paid £138m for Eddie Stobart, while the haulage company's principal shareholders, Andrew Tinkler and William Stobart, son of founder Eddie, bought a significant proportion of Westbury’s property portfolio for the privately owned independent business.
It included the port site which Westbury bought from British Waterways nearly two years ago.