The council has raised concerns over the government’s decision to designate a large swathe of south Warrington as an in-land border for heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) post-Brexit.
The facility, which is expected to be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, is earmarked to provide a large base for paperwork checks, alongside sample vehicle checks, for HGVs entering and leaving the country after Brexit, from 1 January 2021.
It has been confirmed that the government has executed The Town and Country Planning (Border Facilities and Infrastructure) (EU Exit) (England) Special Development Order 2020, which is a piece of legislation that overrides local planning decisions, to ensure that planning consent in the normal way is not needed.
It is suggested that this lorry park facility in the town would serve vehicles coming from Liverpool, areas of Wales and the wider North West region. The council is therefore concerned about the lack of consultation undertaken locally before this decision was made.
Leader of the Council, Cllr Russ Bowden, said: “This decision has been imposed on us without any consultation and follows an increasing pattern of centralised decision-making, without the opportunity for local engagement. It’s only right that the council, and our residents, have the opportunity to scrutinise these plans in detail.”
“Perhaps this is what we can expect more of in future given the government’s White Paper on planning, where planning decisions will be taken nationally without proper local community engagement and democratic input.
“I call upon MP for Warrington South, Andy Carter, to object to this decision and also to report back to the people of Warrington as to what the real impacts will be for us, with Brexit next year. Decisions of this magnitude should be made locally, not through a national, centralised approach.”