Largest container ships in the world will dock at the London Gateway port in Essex

The largest port to be built in the UK in the past 25 years has been given the go-ahead by the government.

Construction of the £1.5bn London Gateway container port will begin later this year at a 750ha site in Stanford-le-Hope, Essex.

The project will incorporate Europe's biggest logistics park and will be the largest employment creation project in the country.

The world's largest ships will be able to dock at the port and London Gateway claims that the new facility will result in 2,000 fewer trucks on the UK's roads every day.

Simon Moore, chief executive of London Gateway, said: “This is a historic day for the shipping industry and the economy as a whole. Our customers will be able to cut costs from their supply chains, increase efficiency and reduce their environmental footprints.”

The logistics park will offer 9.5m sq ft for distribution, manufacturing and hi-tech sectors, and there will be 1m sq ft of individual units.

London Gateway's owner, DP World, is the fourth-largest port operator.