Port of Dover The Port of Dover has been run as a trust since 1606 but the harbour board wants to privatise it
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* Talks over plans for Dover port
* Dover board pledges £15m for town
* 'Community is key' to port sale
Dover Harbour Board has been given four weeks to decide whether to continue with its plans to sell the Kent port after criteria for port sales changed.
The government has set out new rules under which sales of major ports should deliver "an enduring and significant level of community participation".
It has also asked Dover Harbour Board (DHB) if it wants to amend, withdraw, or continue with its sale.
DHB issued a statement saying it believed its scheme met the criteria.
Residents in the town have already voted in favour of a "People's Port" bid by Dover People's Port Trust (DPPT), which has the backing of Conservative MP Charlie Elphicke.
Under the "People's Port" plan, Dover residents would buy the port.
Neil Wiggins, from DPPT, said the change in criteria was a significant development.
He said: "I hope that it's one that will sink the Port of Dover's privatisation plans. I think it's not what they expected."
He added: "It's good news for us because it puts community at the heart of the future of the port."
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