Could Devon get Brexit lorry parks?

A spokesman for Devon County Council said: “Devon County Council is aware of the Order which is scheduled to come into force on September 24 2020.”

Andrew kay planetradio.co.uk 

Under new powers the Government is set to grant itself, temporary planning permission to develop land for the lorry parks in 29 areas of the UK, including Devon and Plymouth, would be granted, subject to the secretary of state’s approval.

The move comes as the government prepares for new border controls, which will be introduced for all goods imported from the European Union, in January.

Local councils will not have the power to stop the new developments, which could soon be built within the areas listed – and stay in place until 2026.

Devon County Council said that they were aware of the new Order and would ensure that Devon’s interests were represented if and when any plans came forward, no information about where any such lorry parks would be sited.

The Order would not apply to areas such as Devon’s National Parks, Sites of Special Scientific Interest, European Protected Sites, AONBs, World Heritage Coastline or listed buildings – meaning that Dartmoor, Exmoor, and large parts of East Devon – would not be available for use.

A spokesman for Devon County Council said: “Devon County Council is aware of the Order which is scheduled to come into force on September 24 2020.

“Each application would need approval by the Secretary of State who would consider elements including whether there would be a likely significant effect on environmentally sensitive areas.

“The Order would not apply to areas such as Devon’s National Parks, Sites of Special Scientific Interest, European Protected Sites, AONBs, World Heritage Coastline or listed buildings.

“We currently have had no indication about the planning of any sites within the DCC area but will ensure that the Council is engaged in the process and Devon’s interests are represented.”

As well as Devon, Plymouth is also on the list of 29 ports and inland cities where the Government has given itself powers to create new border control posts, with plans are already well advanced in the city to set up a new border control post at Millbay Docks.

The city council has been working with owner Associated British Ports and Brittany Ferries on the new unit, in consultation with the Brexit planning team at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

The council also identified a site for a temporary lorry park at Derriford in October last year to cope with possible disruption to port traffic caused by a no-deal Brexit.

The UK Government is in talks with the EU about a trade deal to come into force from January, but there is no agreement in sight despite a deadline being set for October to get approval in time.

The regulation giving the Government powers to set up the lorry parks acknowledges concerns about preparations for new trade arrangements after the free flow of goods between the UK and the EU ends.

It says new controls will apply to all goods imported from the EU from January 1, 2021. They will need new border facilities for customs compliance and health checks.

The document says: “While port operators would normally provide the border facilities, there is limited space for the new facilities at some ports.

“Additionally, the Government is aware that the impact of coronavirus may have affected the ability of port operators and businesses to provide the necessary infrastructure by the end of the year.”

It says where there is limited space at ports, the Government will provide new inland sites where checks and other border processes will take place.

A Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government memorandum explains why the order, which comes into effect on September 24, was made.

It said: “The UK left the EU on 31 January 2020. A transition period is now in place until 31 December 2020. During this period the UK must comply with all EU rules and laws.

“There will be changes after the transition period, whether or not an agreement is reached on the new relationship between the UK and the EU.

“This Special Development Order is an important component of the Government’s preparations for an orderly transition to the new system of controls to secure the border of Great Britain from 1 January 2021.

“From 1 January 2021 the UK will introduce new controls that apply to all goods imported from the EU.

“This will require building new border facilities in Great Britain for carrying out required checks, such as customs compliance, transit, and Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) checks.

“While port operators would normally provide the border facilities, there is limited space for the new facilities at some ports.

“Additionally, the Government is aware that the impact of coronavirus may have affected the ability of port operators and businesses to provide the necessary infrastructure by the end of the year.”

A government spokesperson said: “We are taking back control of our borders and leaving the single market and the customs union at the end of this year, bringing both changes and significant opportunities for which we all need to prepare.

“In July 2020, the government committed to spending £470m on new border infrastructure to support ports in building extra capacity to meet the new control requirements where there is space to do so, and, if necessary, to build additional inland sites across the country where checks can take place.

“Engagement is underway with ports and we are speaking to local authorities about potential inland sites. Final decisions on inland sites will not be made until we have established the extent of new infrastructure that will be delivered at ports.”

By Daniel Clark, local democracy reporting partnership

2 thoughts on “Could Devon get Brexit lorry parks?

  1. I sincerely hope not…

    ‘Free ports might simply defer the point when taxes are paid, as imports would still need to reach final customers across the country. The incentives may also promote the relocation of activity that would have taken place anyway, from one part of the UK to another.

    Tax breaks could mean a loss of revenue for the Treasury. Free ports risk facilitating money laundering and tax evasion, as goods are usually not subject to checks that are standard elsewhere.’

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/jul/06/what-is-a-free-port-all-you-need-to-know-about-free-trade-zones-brexit

    Like

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