Massive Brexit lorry park could be built here in Leicestershire
A huge lorry park could be constructed in Leicestershire to avoid potential disruption to food and medical supplies following the end of the UK’s transition period after leaving the European Union. The Government has revealed proposals to grant itself extraordinary powers to build such facilities in 29 council areas across the country, including Leicestershire. It comes as the countdown to January 1 continues, by which time the UK will have either struck a trade deal with the EU or will begin trading on World Trading Organisation (WTO) terms – in a so-called ‘No Deal’ Brexit scenario.
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It means local residents will have no say over the construction of the sites – as the powers, unveiled after MPs had left Westminster, put all the authority over the building of the sites in the hands of ministers. The mover comes after the Road Haulage Association and other transport organisations warned that the flow of medicine and food could be disrupted if Britain left its transition period with the EU without a deal. Traders fear the flow of food and vital medicines will be disrupted, even as the UK risks a second spike of
The Government is already building one massive lorry pen in Kent – but this plan could see sites spring up the length and breadth of England.
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Asked if they planned to build on lorry park in each of the areas mentioned in the document, a spokesman for the Prime Minister refused to offer details. An explanatory note with document reads: “This Order grants temporary planning permission for development consisting of the use of land for the stationing and processing of vehicles (particularly goods vehicles) entering or leaving Great Britain.” Transport bosses have called for an “urgent” meeting with Cabinet ministers over concerns there are “significant gaps” in the UK’s Brexit border preparations.
Eight logistics organisations, including the Road Haulage Association (RHA), have written to Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove to highlight fears the UK-EU supply chain “will be severely disrupted” next year if issues are not resolved before Brexit.
Robert Jenrick, Secretary of State for housing, communities and local government, speaking in the House of Commons (Image: PA Wire)
The group seeks a roundtable meeting with Mr Gove, Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Transport Secretary Grant Shapps to discuss areas including IT systems and physical border infrastructure. The letter states: “As key participants in the supply chain who will be required to deliver a functional operating border for GB and EU traders next year, we have visibility of the current state of preparedness which as it stands has significant gaps. “If these issues are not addressed disruption to UK business and the supply chain that we all rely so heavily on will be severely disrupted.”
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said he would meet haulage bosses. He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Friday that he has “very, very regular contact” with “people like the Road Haulage Association”.
Contingency plans have been focussed on the possibility of no trade deal being agreed with the EU by January 1
A Government spokesperson said: “The border operating model sets out in significant detail the approach to UK border controls after the transition period. “We worked closely with industry in its development and will continue to do so as we move towards the end of the transition period.”
The spokesperson said the Government was investing GBP705 million in “jobs, infrastructure and technology at the border” and had announced a new GBP50 million support package “to boost the capacity of the customs intermediary sector, ensuring we are ready for the changes and opportunities ahead”.
List of proposed areas for lorry parks – in full
- Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council
- Cheshire East Council
- Cheshire West and Chester Council
- Devon County Council
- Dorset Council
- East Riding of Yorkshire Council
- East Sussex County Council
- Essex County Council
- Halton Borough Council
- Hampshire County Council
- Hull City Council
- Kent County Council
- Lancashire County Council
- Leicestershire County Council
- Liverpool City Council
- Medway Council
- North East Lincolnshire Council
- North Lincolnshire Council
- Plymouth City Council
- Portsmouth City Council
- Salford City Council
- Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council
- Somerset County Council
- Southampton City Council
- Suffolk County Council
- Thurrock Council
- Trafford Council
- Warrington Borough Council
- Warwickshire County Council