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Plans to build lorry park between Canterbury and Faversham as councils team up to alleviate parking problems

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Council bosses have their eyes on a plot of a land near Brenley Corner which they want to turn into a large lorry park.

The project - led by Canterbury City Council and Swale Borough Council - will address the "urgent and unmet" need for official HGV parking facilities in east Kent.

Fed-up business owners last week called for a tougher crackdown on nuisance lorry drivers who clog up road networks and leave trails of litter.

The lorry park would cater for hundreds of HGVs (7576043)
The lorry park would cater for hundreds of HGVs (7576043)

A clamping trial in Ashford has proved successful with almost 2,000 lorries being clamped in the first year.

If the plans for a new lorry park between Canterbury and Faversham do come to fruition, then Canterbury and Swale councils will too be granted powers to clamp those who refuse to move on from restricted zones.

The exact portion of land near to Brenley Corner is yet to be revealed, however, it will cater for hundreds of vehicles and offer toilet and eating facilities.

The drivers who arrive for the night will have to pay an entrance fee - with the cash income benefitting the councils.

Leader of the city council Simon Cook, who says the plans are not in response to Brexit, believes everyone will benefit.

"We get the best of both worlds," he said.

"The problem is getting worse. I can't blame the lorry drivers as they have to stop somewhere and have strict rules over time - I do have extreme sympathy them.

"This lorry park along the A2/M2 corridor will provide them with a decent, safe place to get their rest.

"So far, we have had very helpful preliminary discussions, and there are many issues that need to be investigated.

"I can't blame the lorry drivers as they have to stop somewhere and have strict rules over time - I do have extreme sympathy them..." - Cllr Simon Cook, Canterbury City Council

"At the moment, we don't have the powers to clamp lorries as we don't enough spaces to move them onto.

"Ashford have enough spaces so are allowed to clamp them. By getting this lorry park, we could then use those powers.

"This isn't just a 'let's get a lorry drivers project'. It will work for everyone."

A report to the city council's policy and resources committee next Wednesday recommends councillors authorise officers to carry out detailed investigations on the issue.

Swale councillors will consider the topic at its cabinet meeting the following Wednesday.

If green lit, the authorities will work "swiftly" to get further investigations into planning concerns, land issues and legal implications underway.

Swale Borough Council leader Andrew Bowles said: "It's been about 15 years since I first started trying to find a solution to this issue, and now it looks like we finally have the chance to make some real progress.

"People across the borough have suffered from inappropriate lorry parking - and unsightly side-effects from a minority of drivers - for too long."

If the land near Brenley Corner cannot become a lorry park, other locations in Swale - not Canterbury - will be considered.

What do you think? Email kentishgazette@thekmgroup.co.uk.

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