PLANS to build an £80m container terminal at the Port of Liverpool have been hailed as a major economic development for Liverpool and the North West.

The Mersey Docks and Harbour Company project, expected to attract millions of pounds of investment and jobs to the city, was welcomed as an exciting business opportunity by city leaders.

But the details of the scheme are far from finalised.

The Daily Post broke the news last week that a public inquiry is due to be held in April after concerns were raised that extra traffic created by the terminal will damage wildlife and the local environment.

Now MDHC will have to convince green pressure groups that its benefits outweigh the toll it could take on the environment.

The company, owned by Peel Holdings, is pushing for the 800-metre quayside to be built in Seaforth to enable it to handle giant container ships.

But an increase in noise and air pollution created from the development, with long-term problems expected from the increase in traffic from lorries, has sparked anger among local residents.

The area has a long history of high levels of asthma, and those living nearby say they suffer from skin conditions and have to endure the pungent air which comes from the docks.

English Nature objected to the scheme and has raised concerns about the impact on wading birds on the neighbouring Sefton and Wirral coasts.

But whether the green issues will be enough to curb proposals for the terminal remains to be seen.

Should green issues halt the port plan?