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Brexit lorry park next to M20 Junction 10a in Ashford won't be fully ready until February


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A huge post-Brexit lorry park being built next to the M20 won't be fully ready until the end of February, it has emerged.

The 66-acre site next to Junction 10a in Ashford was scheduled for completion by January 1 - the day Britain officially leaves the EU.

The 66-acre Sevington site won't be complete until late February
The 66-acre Sevington site won't be complete until late February

It is set to comprise two areas - one will be a holding area for up to 1,700 trucks, while the other will be a HMRC customs check facility.

But heavy rain, which has forced work to continue 24/7, will mean the customs side of the scheme won't be ready until late February.

Lorries will still be held on the Sevington plot if there is disruption at the ports, but the HMRC checks of HGVs will take place at the nearby Waterbrook Park estate, which is further from the M20.

Speaking to KentOnline today, Ashford MP Damian Green said: "Because of the rain, they are going to stand up the nearby Waterbrook site and operate it as a common transit convention site.

"HMRC activities that would've taken place at Sevington will be carried out there instead.

Part of Waterbrook Park will now be used for customs checks. Picture: Ady Kerry / Ashford Borough Council
Part of Waterbrook Park will now be used for customs checks. Picture: Ady Kerry / Ashford Borough Council

"They've said it should be for a maximum of up to eight weeks from January - so it should be finished by the end of February - but they are committed to the Sevington site as the permanent base."

Mr Green confirmed that only the customs side wouldn't be available from January 1, meaning lorries will still be held at the new park.

Waterbrook has been described as a 'back-up plan' since October, but the move will mean increased freight traffic on junctions surrounding the Orbital Park estate - including the notoriously busy 'McDonald's roundabout'.

"There'll certainly be more traffic than expected going round the roundabouts and Waterbrook," Mr Green added.

"I'm very concerned about that, and I've had an email from the minister saying they are 'aware of the traffic mitigation implications it could cause.'"

This is how the Sevington site is set to look when complete
This is how the Sevington site is set to look when complete

The Waterbrook Park estate is already home to the Ashford International Truckstop and is at the centre of plans for a huge distribution centre linked to online giant Amazon.

Meanwhile, tests of the Operation Brock contraflow system are ongoing on the M20 ahead of the January 1 transition date.

How is Brexit going to affect Kent? For all the latest news, views and analysis visit our dedicated page here.

Read more: All the latest news from Ashford

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