Dover council backs Brexit lorry park strategy in spite of citizens’ anger

Homeowners of a village near Dover are angered after the district council backed controversial federal government strategies to turn fields behind their homes into a Brexit customizeds clearance park for 1,200 trucks.

Regional people in Guston have complained over the lack of notice, information and assessment on the proposals after the federal government acquired the White Cliffs website with plans to turn it into an inland border facility. Under the strategies, the website would deal with customs, tariffs and responsibilities checks and be functional from July this year.

At a council conference on Tuesday night the Tory-led Dover district council backed the Department for Transport’s plans, inviting the investment and tasks to be developed, however required mitigation procedures versus “the danger of major traffic disruption and congestion in the area, in addition to enhanced environmental steps to protect regional citizens”.

The DfT said the website would be used temporarily for “up to five years”. With the main 21-day engagement process pertaining to an end on Wednesday, residents state they have not had a single visit from the DfT to discuss their views, and in-depth proposals have yet to be presented to them. They are furious with the strategies, which they say will result in traffic lines on the A2 under Guston, mess up the surrounding countryside and blight the regional tourism economy.

Mick Palmer, 78, who has lived in Guston with his partner, Gill, 76, for 36 years, stated he felt betrayed by the council supporting the plans. “I believed we resided in a democracy however we certainly don’t; it’s being determined to us,” he stated.

Increased traffic and sound, light and air pollution are of significant concern, he stated. The couple state the proposed buffer zone will not secure their residential or commercial property which the worth of their home has actually dropped as a result. “We’ve got no defense and we’re getting no details on it at all. At our age we have actually got to live with this for six years, caught in a house that we can’t offer. It’s just madness,” Mick stated.

Sarah Gleave, the planner for the Green party for Dover and Offer, has been leading the project to get the strategies reversed. She stated it was “deeply shocking” that all but one district councillor had actually voted in favour: “Only the Labour leader of the opposition had the backbone to stand up for Dover and the wider location to state this is the incorrect area for the facility.”

Port of Dover itself had actually suggested a much safer place further up the A2, Gleave stated. The disturbance under the existing plans would cause “a massive amount of damage” to the surrounding villages and local tourism, she included, lamenting the “mess homeowners will have troubled them”.

Dover district council stated it desired peace of minds from the DfT on mitigating the effect of the site, including enhancing the surrounding roads and avoiding disturbing an ancient Roman method, in addition to detailed propositions to address locals’ issues about contamination and protecting their residential or commercial properties.

” Without major mitigation it was the council’s view that the proposal would be unacceptable to citizens and businesses in the district,” it stated in a statement.

The Labour peer Lord Berkeley, who has actually used up the battle in parliament and will raise it once again in the Lords on Thursday, said it was “a terrible piece of ministerial trampling over regional citizens’ views”.

” The government has had plenty of time to go through the correct preparation process– including an environmental research study, taking a look at alternative websites, talking to citizens. As far as I can see they haven’t done anything and only troubled to tell locals about this on New Year’s Eve. It’s pretty disgraceful,” he said.

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