Lorry park will not be built this year

Published: 13 July 2017

Lorry park will not be built this year
County transport chiefs are expected to reveal the details of where they would like to set up a numer of lorry parks within the next few weeks.
It comes as a court hearing over plans for a huge lorry park just off the M20, designed to deal with Operation Stack, has been delayed again, effectively ending any hope that HGVs could use some of it this year.
A Judicial Review planned for October has now been put back till December.
The DfT had hoped that part of the site would be open and available this summer at least for short-term parking to ease the ongoing issue of lorries parking illegally on laybys and side streets.
The new delay will further frustrate residents in the area who had been in talks with the DfT over whether they would be compensated for blight or have their homes compulsory purchased.
Opposition of the 250-acre scheme, which would hold up to 3,600 lorries when Operation Stack is in place, believe that the government have not properly carry out a full environmental assessment. They also claim the scheme should be progressed through a Development Consent Order because it is a nationally significant development.
Highways England has previously said there is no requirement for planning permission as it has separate powers to ensure there is sufficient holding areas for HGVs.
In the meantime, Kent County Council has been drawing up plans for a series of possible sites that could be operated as commercial parks all year round. It is understood that at least three sites have already been identified but their locations have been kept secret.
Council sources say they want to move ahead with their plans as soon as possible as HGV traffic continues to increase and there is a shortage of places for them to park.
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