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Last Updated: Monday, 26 February 2007, 20:41 GMT
Expansion plans for Dorset port
MV Bretagne
Brittany Ferries' ship MV Bretagne will arrive on Tuesday
A small Dorset port is set to welcome its largest ship yet as it hopes to increase cross-Channel travel.

Poole plans to build a new quayside by reclaiming land from the harbour.

A deeper channel has already been dredged through Poole Harbour in readiness for a new generation of ferries and other ships.

On Tuesday morning, Brittany Ferries' ship MV Bretagne, which normally sails from Portsmouth, will arrive with plans for a new ship on its route to France.

Reclaiming land

Brittany Ferries is building a ship in Finland, which is due for delivery in October.

Steve Warner, of Brittany Ferries said: "We are optimistic she will operate to Poole, but that is a decision, which has yet to be made."

In 2006, Poole saw 100,000 more passengers pass through its port than in 2005, while freight increased by 20% on the year before.

The new quayside would involve reclaiming eight acres of land.

Jim Stewart, Poole Harbour Commissioner, said: "With the environmental assessments that we'd have to go through, we are looking at another year or so down the road (before planning)."

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