I am writing to inform you that I am proposing to lay three Special Development Orders. These are:
These Orders are part of the Government’s preparations to mitigate the effects of cross-Channel travel disruption on the road network leading to the Dover Straits Ports in the event of a ‘no deal’ departure from the EU at the end of October.
Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) are working closely with the Department for Transport and local agencies to create temporary customs transit and lorry parking facilities. The planning applications are to provide some of this additional capacity at three sites in Kent and Essex. The use of these three sites, two in Kent (Car Park D at Ebbsfleet International Station and Waterbrook in Ashford) and one in Essex (North Weald Airfield), will help facilitate the flow of trade and support strategic traffic management in the Dover Straits area.
I have taken the decisions to grant temporary planning permission for use of these sites until 31 December 2020 and confirm this by making three Special Development Orders under the powers in sections 59 and 60 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.
It has not been possible to lay the Orders earlier because a range of environmental and other analysis needed to be undertaken before I could consider the potential impact of the proposed development and my officials also undertook targeted engagement with relevant stakeholders. We have only just come to the point where all this has been completed.
On that basis, I regret to say that the Orders need to come into force on 9 September 2019 to enable relevant infrastructure works to take place at the three sites before the UK leaves the European Union on 31 October 2019. It is therefore not possible to comply with the procedure for negative statutory instruments, whereby the instrument would not come into force earlier than 21 days after it is laid.
This is highly regrettable, and I want to reassure you that no disrespect at all is meant to the Committee. I hope you understand these reasons and I would of course be very willing to discuss them further with you.
5 September 2019