Farmers’ fields near Dover have been earmarked for a potential new customs checkpoint for lorries, ITV News Meridian has learnt.
Government letters sent to residents and local councillors appear to confirm plans to acquire the site in the village of Guston.
It’s hoped it’ll be completed by July next year - and be one of five planned border checking facilities in Kent - including two at Ashford, one at Ebbsfleet International and one at Manston Airport.
Ministers want to build the site using a Special Development Order, bypassing the usual planning permission process.
It is located just off the A2, approximately three miles from the Port of Dover and sits alongside the White Cliffs Business Park.
In a Department for Transport letter dated 27 October, seen by ITV News Meridian, Rachel Maclean MP writes: “The Government is seeking to create an additional Inland Border Facility in Kent, and Dover provides a strategic location for this. The proposed IBF will seek to accommodate the new custom and border controls commencing from 1 July 2021.
“The site is proposed to act as a location for starting and ending the transit movement of goods to and from the UK; as well as a border control post, in bio secure purpose-built structures, to check the animals, animal products or high-risk food and feed of non-animal origin in a consignment from outside the UK.
“The Department for Transport does not expect this site to be used as a temporary lorry holding facility.”
A public consultation is expected to follow shortly.
A DfT spokesperson said:
“Preparations for the end of the transition period are well underway to ensure the free flow of freight across our borders. We are in regular conversation with local residents, community leaders and industry about a range of measures under consideration to minimise disruption at the end of the EU Transition Period.”
Watch Kit Bradshaw's report here: