I’ll fight lorry park bid, says coun­cil leader Govern­ment gives it­self ex­tra plan­ning pow­ers

Ormskirk Advertiser - - Active - BY JAMIE LOPEZ

THE leader of West Lancashire Bor­ough Coun­cil has promised to fight any plans for a lorry park in the bor­ough af­ter the Govern­ment gave it­self new pow­ers to by­pass the plan­ning process.

Un­der leg­is­la­tion passed last week, the Govern­ment gave it­self per­mis­sion to over­ride the usual plan­ning pro­cesses in or­der to con­struct hold­ing fa­cil­i­ties needed post-Brexit.

That means it will not need to seek per­mis­sion to build the gi­ant lorry parks, which will be used to pre­vent gi­ant back­logs of traf­fic seek­ing to leave the coun­try’s bor­ders.

With just four months un­til Bri­tain leaves the EU’s sin­gle mar­ket and cus­toms union, no re­place­ment sys­tem has yet been ar­ranged mean­ing all goods ve­hi­cles will need new pa­per­work when head­ing to the EU.

The govern­ment has al­ready started con­struct­ing hold­ing fa­cil­i­ties for lor­ries in Kent, which will be used to park goods ve­hi­cles which don’t have the cor­rect pa­per­work to en­ter the EU. Last week, it gave it­self the power to build sim­i­lar fa­cil­i­ties in 29 ar­eas in­clud­ing Lancashire.

It is not yet clear where in the county the Govern­ment would want to build such a fa­cil­ity, though the most likely site is in the area of Heysham to serve the town’s port.

How­ever, West Lancashire’s lo­ca­tion on the M58 cor­ri­dor link­ing to Sefton’s su­per port has cre­ated fears that the area could also be a tar­get. But coun­cil leader Cllr Ian Mo­ran has pledged to do ev­ery­thing pos­si­ble to pre­vent a lorry park be­ing cre­ated in the bor­ough.

He said: “Res­i­dents should be as­sured that as a coun­cil we will vig­or­ously op­pose the im­po­si­tion of lorry parks in our area. The county of Kent is al­ready be­com­ing known as the Garage of Eng­land, in­stead of the Gar­den of Eng­land, given the im­pend­ing trans­port chaos there.

“We do not want some­thing sim­i­lar to hap­pen in our area, and we will do all we can to stop plans, should the govern­ment try to force this upon us.

“The bet­ter op­tion for all is for the govern­ment to reach a deal with the EU which re­moves any need for mas­sive lorry con­ges­tion, and all the en­vi­ron­men­tal harm that this brings.

“When we un­der­took a full and demo­cratic con­sul­ta­tion over out­line pro­pos­als for the de­vel­op­ment of some ar­eas in the M58 cor­ri­dor, it was clear that res­i­dents were op­posed to it and they pre­sented sound rea­sons why de­vel­op­ment should not pro­ceed here.

“We had no prob­lem with that, be­cause that is how a proper plan­ning process works. We do have a prob­lem with cen­tral govern­ment dic­tat­ing how our land is used or abused, with­out warn­ing or con­sul­ta­tion, and we will do our ut­most to pro­tect the interests of the area.

“We won’t al­low our Grade 1 Agri­cul­tural Land to be con­creted over so the govern­ment can place mas­sively pol­lut­ing lorry parks on it.”

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