Brexit: Workers turn 27-acre Kent field into 2,000-vehicle lorry park

Colin Drury
·2 min read
A view of the area near Sevington in Ashford, Kent, where the government is developing the 27-acre site (PA)
A view of the area near Sevington in Ashford, Kent, where the government is developing the 27-acre site (PA)

New photos show the county nicknamed the Garden of England may soon be more accurately described as the nation’s lorry park – thanks to Brexit preparations.

The images show the full jaw-dropping magnitude of a scheme which will see 27 acres of Kent’s green fields ripped up and concreted over to create a sprawling 2,000-vehicle holding facility for trucks crossing the Channel.

The development – nicknamed the Farage Garage and situated just off the M20 near Ashford – is being built by the government in case of a No Deal divorce from the EU in December.

Upon completion, the vast grey site will be used for HMRC customs checks, with an area available as a holding space when delays arise.

Yet, astonishingly, this sprawling space is one of only 29 such parks being built across England – all in order to cope with the expected border logjams.

Others are in Leicestershire, Warwickshire, Solihull, Kent, Essex, Yorkshire and Lincolnshire – where people have not been allowed a say on their location or construction.

The new aerial pictures also come as it was revealed that ministers were considering placing food and drink facilities and toilets alongside the M20 for truck drivers caught in major jams.

Speaking in a committee on Brexit preparedness, transport minister Rachel Maclean MP said: “It is absolutely vital we consider the welfare of drivers and hauliers as these are hardworking people, we rely on the haulage industry for a supply of critical goods and we must consider their welfare.

A view of the area near Sevington in Ashford, Kent, where the government is developing the 27-acre sitePA
A view of the area near Sevington in Ashford, Kent, where the government is developing the 27-acre sitePA

“We have detailed plans for provision of not only Portaloos but other facilities for drivers, not only in Kent if there is stationary traffic, but other places in the country.”

Meanwhile talks between the two sides resumed on Friday – now long after Boris Johnson’s original deadline for a deal – with EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier flying into London to meet his UK counterpart Lord David Frost.

The current 11-month transition period ends in December, and the prime minister has ruled out seeking an extension.

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