Solent Gateway Development

UK Ports play a vital role in the country’s trade and industry, with national policy supporting the sustainable expansion of the existing ports. The commercial development of Marchwood Port is a significant opportunity to make a vital contribution to UK imports and exports.

This development of Marchwood Port, which will increase the port’s capacity whilst being socially and environmentally aware, is in accordance with local and national policies. ABP Solent Gateway is committed to working with stakeholders and the community to deliver a scheme that responds to national and regional needs whilst addressing potential local impacts.

New Development

In 2022, ABP Solent Gateway received planning approval to develop 30 acres on-site for flexible open storage and create a new site entrance and security gatehouse. The development works will start in March 2024 and complete in September 2024.

The development includes:

  • Providing additional hard standing on a 21-acre area for open storage to support both MOD and Commercial opportunities, most likely for automotive import/export operations.
  • Improving site access from Cracknore Hard with enhanced security features enabling vehicles and pedestrians entering and exiting the port to be processed more efficiently and preventing congestion outside of the port.
  • Creating a new ecological buffer on the port boundary with landscaping to improve the visual impact of the port on local residential areas and encourage wildlife to the site. 
  • Supporting biodiversity net gain off-site of 25 hectares on the Cadland Estate in Fawley. 
  • Enhancing the cycle route improving connectivity to the Port from existing safe cycleways enabling cyclists to safely cycle from the Port to Bury Lane whilst avoiding Normandy Way.
  • Creating improved pedestrian site access by constructing a new footpath connecting Cracknore Hard to Autumn Road.

Current use

The MOD use the port for the transport of supplies and cargo. This development will better assist and support the MOD’s ongoing operation and make more efficient use of the port in line with local and national policy.

Marchwood Port’s current commercial operations includes:

  • Rail import and storage.
  • Container storage.
  • Automotive import/export and storage.
  • Project cargo import/export and storage.
  • Wind turbine blade shipments.

Future use

Supporting the MOD’s logistical operations remains a top priority for ABP Solent Gateway. The upgraded 21-acre site will increase overall capacity and enhance the facilities for the MOD and automotive operations, including storage for import and export vehicles from cars, high and heavy (JCBs and Caterpillar), military vehicles. The pavement specifications have been designed specifically for these uses.


Marchwood is in an optimum location with the opportunity for goods to be transported to and from the site by sea, rail, and road. ABP Solent Gateway will encourage and maximise the use of sustainable transportation methods where possible.


Marchwood Port has direct access to the Southampton Shipping Lanes and international waters. This allows vessels up to 240m to dock at the port to load or unload cargo.

The site is licensed to handle ammunition and explosives to support the safe and secure transport of military supplies through the port.

Marchwood currently receives approximately 50 MOD and 20 commercial vessels per year. Once the site is developed to satisfy emerging commercial opportunities, this is likely to increase to 200 vessels per year.

The port can support Roll on Roll off (RoRo) which are ships designed to carry wheeled cargo such as cars, trucks, and trailers, as well as Load on Load off (LoLo), which uses port cranes and geared vessels.


The port is connected to the national rail network and currently has three train paths a day (slots reserved in the wider railway timetable). These paths are not currently fully utilised, and with the increased use of the port, a greater use of the existing rail paths is anticipated. The port will continue operating within the permitted network rail capacity and will also continue to use rail to transport cargo inside the port.


The new access from Cracknore Hard will bring vehicles onto the port before they stop at security, preventing queuing on the road. When this development is completed, it is expected that there will be an increase in HGV traffic to and from the port.

Sustainable Travel 

As part of the development, SGL is also delivering new cycle and walking connections:

  • a new section of footway along Normandy Way to connect Cracknore Hard with Autumn Road.
  • a new footway in Autumn Road to Dapple Place to connect to the open space and the walking route to the bus stops on Main Road

We hope this will benefit all members of the community, making it safer to walk along Normandy Way.

We are also extending the existing cycle route through the village with an on-road cycle lane. This will take cyclists down Old Cracknore Close to a new crossing at Normandy Way and down Cracknore Hard Lane into the port. This signed route will be quicker and safer than Normandy Way.

If you have any questions about the development, please email