Kent councillors unexpectedly vote in favour of lorry park plans

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A lorry park near the Channel Tunnel will be built after Kent councillors voted in favour of plans - despite being recommended to reject the proposal.

Kent councillors unexpectedly vote in favour of lorry park plans
Photo: Motis

As we wrote last week, Kent Online reported that councillors were to told refuse planning permission for the facility due to concerns over “whether the development will result in any ecologically significant nitrogen deposition” that would affect a “site of special scientific interest” near the facility. It was also noted that there is “insufficient evidence supplied to adequately establish that there is an overwhelming need for additional HGV parking” in the district.

However, Liberal Democrat councillor Gary Fuller, who voted in favour of the proposals, did not agree. He is quoted by the BBC as saying “The reasons given by the officers that this area is supposed to be office space and there isn’t need for lorry parking, anyone looking at the M20 during Covid or Operation Brock couldn’t fail to notice we need lorry parking.”

Seven councillors voted to approve the park, while five were against. The decision was arguably a surprise given the regional authorities in Kent have tended to be rather hostile to the prospect of more lorry parks in the region.

Motis, who already operate a truck stop near Dover Port with over 300 secure parking spaces, had submitted the application for planning permission to build the lorry park with 115 spaces as well as 6 commercial units as an extension to its business centre in Folkestone.

The extension is to include a gym, nursery and cafe for staff, all of which are also to be open to the general public, while the lorry park will also sport a two-storey drivers’ lounge with an amenity building.

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