#FarageGarage trends on Twitter after plans revealed for ‘secret’ Brexit ‘lorry park’ in Kent
- Credit: Archant
The hashtag #FarageGarage has trended on Twitter after locals in Ashford were left fuming about plans for a 'lorry park' which arepart of the government's preparations for Brexit.
Work has already started on the 27 acres of pristine farmland in Ashford in a plan that was only officially revealed to locals last week.
Local authorities were unexpectedly contacted by the Department for Transport (DfT) saying the land had just gone into public ownership and was earmarked for 'temporary capacity for the holding of delayed HGVs and facilities for border-related controls to be carried out by government agencies'.
The 'lorry park', as it is being dubbed, forms part of the government's £705 million Brexit border package and will house trucks on their way to Europe from Dover port.
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It was dubbed the 'Farage Garage' by broadcaster James O'Brien, who named it after the former Brexit Party MEP for the area, and one of the protagonists of the Leave campaign.
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Local MP and Tory representative Damien Green - the former de facto deputy prime minister to Theresa May - blasted the move, calling it 'unfair to Ashford' as it was 'too near to many homes'.
'I am strongly opposed to this, and have told ministers this,' Green told a local newpaper. In a tweet that was later deleted, he wrote: 'No one has suggested using this site as a lorry park in the many years of discussions on the subject, and it is too near too many homes for it to be the right place.'
Michael Gove, the minister responsible for implementing the new border policy, denied it amounted to a vast lorry park on the Andrew Marr Show.
Mandy Rossi, a local Green Party spokesperson dismissed Gove's spin as 'semantics'.
'If there is bad weather, or disruption on the tunnel or in Calais, lorries will have to stop somewhere, and even if the customs post only stops one in 100 trucks, that is still a lot as there are 11,500 lorry movements a day to and from Dover,' she said.
A party councillor called it 'a complete shock to local residents and … a further nail in the coffin for local democracy'.
The site, named 'Mojo', had been farmland which in recent years was allowed to seed after rumours circulated that Amazon was planning to build on it.
The DfT is expected to send residents a letter informing them of works beginning on Monday 'with fencing, grass and weed vegetation cutting, extensive survey work, the constructing of a temporary site office, and the constructing of a temporary access to the site from the A2070'.
'Plans have not yet been finalised for the use of this site, but [it] is anticipated to form part of the department's strategy to minimise potential disruption at Kent ports for the end of the transition period,' the letter says.
'This is likely to involve temporary capacity for the holding of delayed HGVs (Heavy Goods Vehicles) and facilities for border-related controls to be carried out by government agencies (eg HM Revenue and Customs).'
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