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Plans submitted to convert former Rainham Pumping Station into working River Thames pier

PUBLISHED: 07:00 04 December 2019

The old Rainham Pumping Station Walkway could soon be returned to a working pier under new plans submitted to Havering Council. Picture: Google Maps.

The old Rainham Pumping Station Walkway could soon be returned to a working pier under new plans submitted to Havering Council. Picture: Google Maps.

Archant

A fleet of tug boats and River Thames barges could soon be mooring in Rainham if newly-submitted plans for a working pier are approved by Havering Council.

The old Rainham Pumping Station Walkway could soon be returned to a working pier under new plans submitted to Havering Council. Picture: Google Maps.The old Rainham Pumping Station Walkway could soon be returned to a working pier under new plans submitted to Havering Council. Picture: Google Maps.

Proposals have been submitted which would see Rainham Pumping Station Walkway - a short pier the Thames just south of the Tilda plant in Coldharbour Lane - converted into the Athena Pier.

The Athena Pier would be a working industrial pier operated by GPS Marine Contractors, a maritime construction business of more than 50 years which operates a large fleet of tugs and barges for use in construction and infrastructure projects up and down London's riverside.

Daily, these barges carry up to 2,000 tonnes of aggregate or 1,000 tonnes of dry cargo into London, and take around 7,000 tonnes of soil-based construction waste downriver to a site in East Tilbury where a former landfill area is being restored.

The company has previously used leased piers in Kent, but is looking to set up its own pier to reduce sailing times to the capital, thus reducing carbon emissions and fuel usage.

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In documents submitted alongside the application, GPS Maritime Construction argues that its daily operations keep 75 lorries off London's roads, and that the company "makes significant contributions towards social well-being and economic growth in London and surrounding areas".

Should the plan be approved, the new pier would be formed of a large decked barge moored alongside the current steel walkway to provide safe access to and from each tug-boat and moored boat.

The pier downstream would also be extended with the use of a modular concrete pontoon system to provide purpose-built spaces to moor vessels.

In total, the finished construction would be 70m long and 11.5m wide, with seven pontoons downstream. A car park would also be constructed with spaces for 15 cars.

The application continues: "It is the applicant's intention to bring this pier into use, for a more efficient, greener and cost-effective organisation of their fleet in order to provide the services that they offer."

Residents living nearby were informed of the application on November 27 and are invited to submit their comments about the scheme by sending an email to planning@havering.gov.uk or by writing to Planning Control, London Borough of Havering, Mercury House, Mercury Gardens, Romford, RM1 3SL.

All comments must be received by December 18 2019.

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