County councillor calls for transparency over government plans to build new lorry park in Suffolk
A senior county councillor has called for more transparency over plans which could see the government build a huge new lorry park in Suffolk.
Cllr Sarah Adams, leader of the Suffolk Labour Group, has demanded answers after ministers granted themselves the power to build lorry parks in the county without going through the usual planning process.
Suffolk News can reveal technical engagement to determine the viability of any potential inland site has taken place between Suffolk County Council and the Cabinet Office, but the county has not revealed what the results were.
The lorry park plans were pushed through parliament at the start of the month as part of the government preparing for when Britain leaves the European Union's single market and customs union at the end of the year.
"We've known Brexit was coming for some time, so to catapult the lorry parks at virtually no notice is a nasty way to treat residents, a large number of whom voted to leave the EU," Cllr Adams said.
"They won't tell us where these lorry parks will be, how big they will be and how long they have to operate for.
The Ipswich councillor added: "Leaving the EU was supposed to make democracy stronger, not weaker. The government must revisit its plans and commit to giving the people of Suffolk a say on any new lorry parks."
Potential sites have not yet been revealed, but will most likely be near the A14 for easy access to the port of Felixstowe.
The sites will not need planning permission from local authorities after Robert Jenrick, the housing secretary, gave himself the powers to green-light the scheme.
A Cabinet Office spokesman said: "In July 2020, the government committed to spending £470m on new border infrastructure to support ports in building extra capacity to meet the new control requirements where there is space to do so, and, if necessary, to build additional inland sites across the country where checks can take place."
The spokesman added: "Final decisions on inland sites will be set out in due course."