Councils secure Government confirmation there are no current lorry park plans for Cheshire
16 September 2020Cheshire West and Chester Council has received confirmation that the Government is not currently considering any proposals for a lorry park to be built in Cheshire. The government has also made a commitment that any future plans for border infrastructure will be discussed with the Council first.
The Council leader, Louise Gittins, expressed concern to ministers when the legislation was published, mentioning Cheshire West as a potential location without any prior discussion with the Council. The legislation, announced on 3 September 2020 as part of the Town and Country Planning (Border Facilities and Infrastructure) (EU Exit) (England) Special Development Order 2020, enables border infrastructure to be built in specific areas of the country without planning permission.
Both Cheshire West and Chester Council and Cheshire East Council were identified in the Order to ensure that, should inland facilities be needed to support restrictions at ports, sites could be identified to accommodate the build-up of lorries and other traffic.
Welcoming the new assurances, Councillor Louise Gittins, Leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council said: “Having expressed our concerns to Government about the announcement that we had been identified for a potential lorry park without consultation, I am pleased that we now hear there are no immediate proposals being considered for our area. We will hold the government to their commitment to prior consultation over any future plans. We will also continue to monitor the emerging risk of a non-deal Brexit and call on government to be more open with local communities about the implications for local areas.”
Councillor Sam Corcoran, leader of the Cheshire East Council, said: “We understand that the government has no imminent plans to establish EU Exit-related lorry parks across Cheshire. However, we have asked government to ensure that they consult local authorities on such issues if such plans are developed.
“It is a matter of ongoing concern that the government laid an order before Parliament, allowing it to avoid local planning restrictions, to set up a lorry park anywhere in Cheshire East without notifying the local councils.
“We expect that any such lorry park would put pressure on our local road networks with little or no benefit to our communities. We will continue to work with Cheshire West and Chester Council, to mitigate any related issues, regardless of the EU withdrawal outcome.”