Following the announcement that a 27-acre site near Junction 10a of the M20 in Ashford has been purchased by the Government to build a customs lorry park, Nigel Farage is back in the news.
Some bright spark has managed to place a location pin on Google Maps and named the site, ‘Farage Garage’. This is of course, after Nigel Farage who was a major figure in pushing for the UKs vote to leave the EU. For those in any doubt, Nigel has not decided to move into the Automotive industry.
Nigel will also be pleased to see that no-one has yet ‘claimed’ this business, so he still has time to get his little hands on this valuable property.
Work began on the site just last week, as preparation work for Brexit ramps up, as the UKs new border force swings into action. The Government plan is still under scrunity, as the new customs centre effectively brings the UK customs border 20 miles inland, from its existing coastal location at Dover.
There is a growing fear amongst local residents as to the knock-on effect of having a 2,000 lorry park on their doorstep.
Rick Martin, chairman of Sevington with Finberry parish council, says people are concerned about what effect the project will have on house prices and quality of life. He said: “Brexit was the will of local people – 59% in Ashford voted Leave, in line with 59% in Kent overall – and many are now sadly realising the reality of what their vote entailed for their local area”.
It is a sad reality, that the people of Kent will bear the brunt of the recent changes. Their lives have already been hampered enough by disruption to ferry crossings and illegal immigrants coming ashore. Whichever way they voted, it was always going to affect residents of Kent the most.
Some conspiracy theorists are even suggesting that a lorry park was the real reason for building Junction 10a. The Junction 10a scheme had been discussed for more than 10 years before work even started, but contractors have moved in on the MOJO site within days of the project’s emergence.
ABC leader Gerry Clarkson has said that a permanent lorry park is not something the authority would support in “any way, shape or form”. But the government will not need to submit a planning application to Ashford Borough Council (ABC). This is because they will use a Special Development Order (SDO), which allows the Secretary of State to grant planning permission.
No matter the views of the council or Ashford locals, it looks like the ‘Farage Garage’ is here to stay. Although the Government claim it will be used less and less after Brexit, this former green field in Ashford will forver be another large area of concrete.