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Clashes expected over plans for a second post-Brexit inland border facility at Dover

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Dover councillors are expected to clash over the location of a new border facility claiming that residents could leave the area as a result.

Councillor Edward Biggs (Lab) will ask the leader of the council to confirm the planned location of a potential second border facility so residents can move and avoid being subjected to “the blight of thousands of HGVs”.

There is already a new Inland Border Facility at Sevenington, Ashford. Picture Barry Goodwin.
There is already a new Inland Border Facility at Sevenington, Ashford. Picture Barry Goodwin.

A planned border facility on a field connecting Whitfield with Guston is already expected to take up to 1,200 HGVs for checks. It was originally planned to be operational by this month but has been frequently delayed by the government’s postponement of full border checks from the EU.

A second border facility has been speculated although the location of the second is yet to be confirmed by Dover District Council.

It is now believed one will be for animal health inspectors working for DEFRA and the other for HMRC.

Plans issued by the Department for Transport DfT suggest the Defra site will be at Whitfield/Guston.

In the report ahead of the meeting, Councillor Biggs said: “With the announcement that Dover will now be enjoying two massive border facilities, can the leader advise of the locality of this second huge benefit to Dover so that the affected residents can relocate to an area where they will not be subjected to the blight of thousands of HGVs.”

Guston resident David Dunford stands 25m away from the current boundary to show how close the back end of the border point could be
Guston resident David Dunford stands 25m away from the current boundary to show how close the back end of the border point could be

Guston is a small village in Dover with a population of around 1,800.

Despite setbacks for the project meaning Guston won’t open until 2022, recruitment has already started for the facility.

Thirty of the 70 positions have been filled.

Councillor Pamela Brivio (Lab) will also ask Councillor Martin Bates (Con) when a new transport strategy would be in place to avoid gridlock over the Christmas period.

This layout plan of the border park shows the buildings will be directly in front of homes in St Martin's Road, Guston
This layout plan of the border park shows the buildings will be directly in front of homes in St Martin’s Road, Guston

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In council documents she has said: “DDC has already demanded a review of the whole procedure leading to the chaos and gridlock that occurred in Dover over the Christmas period, so that lessons are learnt from what happened.

“This should be acted upon to ensure that there is a strategy in place to ensure such a situation does not happen again; residents and the council must be fully informed of this new strategy”.

HGVs coming through Dover have also seen the re-introduction of Operation Brock on Monday due to a rise in expected holiday makers and an easing of lockdown restrictions.

The land at Whitfield is subject to a Special Development Order meaning DDC does not posess its usual powers as planning authority.

The meeting is due to be held at 6pm tonight, Wednesday, July 21.

Read more: All the latest news from Dover

Dover KentOnline reporter



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