The government has used emergency planning powers to give the green light to a temporary lorry park at the former Manston airport. An order laid before Parliament, which came in today, grants temporary planning permission for nine months, allowing the 800-acre site in Thanet to “hold” potentially hundreds of HGVs when Operation Stack is in place until next June.
The Department for Communities and Local Government has acknowledged it has been unable to hold a public consultation on the emergency lorry park plan but has carried out “targeted consultation with stakeholders.” These include the Environment Agency, Kent County Council and the Highways Agency. There has been criticism of the decision to use Manston as a relief lorry park, with North Thanet MP Sir Roger Gale describing it as insane.
The emergency order replaces one that was implemented when work got underway last month, preparing the airfield to accommodate lorries. That was for just 28 days and has now run out.
Cross-post from Kent Online.