CHESHIRE West and Chester Council says it has had confirmation that the Government is not currently considering any plans to build a ‘Brexit lorry park’ in the county.
The Government have also made a commitment that any future proposals for border infrastructure will be discussed with the local authority first.
Council leader Louise Gittins expressed concern to ministers when the legislation was published and mentioned Cheshire West as a potential location without any prior discussion with the council.
UK Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick gave himself the sweeping powers, revealed on September 3, that would allow the Government to pass emergency planning permission to build huge lorry parks across England.
It comes as the UK is less than four months away from Brexit being put into action, deal or no deal, as things stand.
The lorry parks would be more likely used in the event of a no-deal Brexit and are designed to prevent chaotic queues at ports.
Both Cheshire West and Chester Council and Cheshire East Council were identified in the order to ensure that, should inland facilities be needed to support restrictions at ports, sites could be identified to accommodate the build-up of lorries and other traffic.
Welcoming the new assurances, Councillor Gittins said: “Having expressed our concerns to Government about the announcement that we had been identified for a potential lorry park without consultation, I am pleased that we now hear there are no immediate proposals being considered for our area.
“We will hold the government to their commitment to prior consultation over any future plans. We will also continue to monitor the emerging risk of a non-deal Brexit and call on government to be more open with local communities about the implications for local areas.”
Councillor Sam Corcoran, leader of the Cheshire East Council, added: “We understand that the government has no imminent plans to establish EU Exit-related lorry parks across Cheshire.
“However, we have asked the Government to ensure that they consult local authorities on such issues if such plans are developed.
“It is a matter of ongoing concern that the Government laid an order before Parliament, allowing it to avoid local planning restrictions, to set up a lorry park anywhere in Cheshire East without notifying the local councils.
“We expect that any such lorry park would put pressure on our local road networks with little or no benefit to our communities. We will continue to work with Cheshire West and Chester Council, to mitigate any related issues, regardless of the EU withdrawal outcome.”