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  1. ITV Report

New Titanic will need Southampton's permission

A computer generated image of what the replica could look like Photo: PA Images

Billionaire Clive Palmer has spent the last week telling the world his new Titanic II will follow in the footsteps of the original ship and sail from Southampton to New York.

But he seems to have forgotten one crucial thing. That is to ask the Port of Southampton if they will allow him to sail his new vessel from the City.

Port owner Associated British Ports (ABP) said today they have had "no approach or contact" from Mr Palmer's Blue Star Line and were "therefore unable to comment on the claims."

A spokesman said they were unable to say either way if it would be allowed. "All we know is what we have seen in the press" a spokesman told ITV News Meridian.

The Port played a key role in last years 100th anniversary commemorations and has always been keen to reflect local opinion.

It is understood a final decision would take into account local views.

It is also not clear if Titanic 2 would be allowed to sail from the birth used by Titanic. Today ships normally sail from one of four modern terminals.

While it is technically possible, Birth 44, used by Titanic, has no passenger or security facilities.

In the City of Southampton from where more than 500 workers were killed reactions are mixed.

Some relatives of those on board like Dot Haisman, whose mother survived the tragedy, say she "supports Titanic 2 because it will pay tribute to those on board."

But others including the family of the man in charge of the ship, Capt Edward Smith, say it is in "bad taste and Mr Palmer should spend his money on a more worthwhile project."

Bob Prior of the British Titanic Society says while many "can't wait to see the ship to sail her from Southampton is in the worst possibletaste."

ABP will now wait for a formal approach from Blue Star Line before considering the plan.