In the next 4 weeks Highways England will use Compulsory Purchase Order powers to buy the 250 acre site(Map Below), at Stanford west, owned by local farmer David Holt, according to Paul Hayward of Highways England. They will use powers under the Highways Act 1980 to do so. . The land is grade 2 agricultural and worth somewhere in the region of £10,000 + per acre. So, Mr David Holt the landowner can expect to receive a minimum of £2.5 million for the land.
Balfour Beatty won a £130 million contract back in May 2016 to build the lorry park. What the other £120 million pounds will be used for is still not clear.
The powers Highway England have at their disposal are:
Highways Act 1980 – S.239 acquisition for construction or improvement – S.240 acquisition for side roads (s.14) and new PMA’s (s.124), watercourse diversion (s.110), public conveniences (s.114) & lorry areas (s.115) – S.246 mitigation of adverse effects – S.248 acquisition in advance or requirements – S.249 distance limits (220 yards for LA’s) – Sch.18 – S.250 creation of new rights over land – S.260 Clearance of title to HA land
On the 6th July, the then Transport Minister Partick McLoughlin announced a major new lorry area will be created near Stanford in Kent as a long-term solution to the problems caused on the M20 and surrounding roads when Operation Stack is used.
Patrick Mc Loughlin MP had a £320 dinner at Rocksalt with Cllr David Drury Monk, Alistair Stewart CEO of SDC and others. This is also an MP who claimed £86,621 during the MP expenses scandal.
It is also understood that Highways England are currently in ongoing discussions – which are ‘commercially confidential’ – about who will run the site in the future.
The Lorry Park hasn’t been without its controversy. ‘The decision to proceed was rushed’ according to the Transport Select Committee. The committee called upon the then Transport Ministers to demonstrate the necessity of building the lorry park, including:
the cost-benefit ratios of alternatives to the lorry park
whether the lorry park is a proportionate and appropriate solution to the scale and frequency of disruption associated with Operation Stack
the environmental and social costs that the lorry park will impose on the locality
the value of any benefits that the lorry park will bring locally and to the UK economy, and
the long-term costs of operating, maintaining, renewing and, eventually, decommissioning the lorry park
So far no answers, as we understand, have been put forward to the above questions. We are sure that soskent, a tenacious, well organised campaign against the lorry park would like to know the answers too. We understand SOSKENT have organised a constitution and will be opening a bank account soon. Donations can be made for any possible future legal fight to stop the lorry park from being built.
If you wish to make your views known, whether for or against, the consultation road show is now under way. The dates and places are as follows:
Thursday August 25, 2pm-8pm, Postling Village Hall, CT21 4EU
Friday September 2, 1pm-7pm, Sellindge Village Hall, TN25 6JX
Saturday September 3, 1pm-7pm, Postling Village Hall, CT21 4EU
Saturday September 10, 12pm-6pm, Lympne Village Hall, CT21 4HL
Monday September 12, 2pm-8pm, Dover Town Hall, CT16 1DL
Wednesday September 14, 2pm-8pm,St Mary’s Church, Willesborough, TN24 0LB
For those who think this is a done deal, just remember nothing is over until ‘the fat lady sings’.