Extract from report prepared by London Rivers Assocaition (late 1980s) on currently working river wharves
This is the largest sea dredged aggregates firm to operate on the Thames. It recently purchased the Delta Wharf site (over 4 acres) with a view to using it to land and Process Sea dredged sand and gravel. At present it has a large plant and Head Quarters at Purfleet but feels that it needs a processing plant on the south side of the Thames.
The company operates two 5,000 ton sand and gravel dredgers. If it can find processing sites it will invest in further dredging vessels. It considers that increasingly building materials such as sand and gravel will have to be obtained from the sea bed because of environmental objections to the use of land derived sources. At present the economics` are finely balanced. Marine dredged aggregates are more expensive to mine (despite the fact that no rent is paid to owners), but cheaper to transport. This gives a premium to landing these aggregates as near as possible to the end use.
The first planning application was turned down because of objections from the houses that are close by and because of a concern that the operation would not generate a significant amount of new employment.
A second planning application has been recently presented which the applicants hope will be more acceptable as it involves a smaller site within the same employment levels and will free parts of the 5 acre site for other employment generating uses.