The Government announcement gives stronger planning support for truckstops. The new policy came less than a week after Ashford Borough Council voted unanimously for GSE Group to double the size of the Ashford International Truckstop at Waterbrook, near Junction 10 of the M20.

Karl Elliott, Managing Partner at Clague, said: “The Department for Transport has acknowledged there’s an under supply of secure parking for HGVs in Kent – a position also recognised by KCC and district councils.

“The decision by Ashford Borough Council shows it is ahead of the game in terms of its thinking on lorry parks, and we can expect to see developers working with other local authorities to bring forward new facilities.”

In the revised NPPF’s section on Promoting Sustainable Transport, the Government now requires that:

  • Planning policies and decisions should recognise the importance of providing adequate overnight lorry parking facilities, taking into account any local shortages, to reduce the risk of parking in locations that lack proper facilities or could cause a nuisance.

As a result, it would suggest that any for new lorry parking capacity, especially if located close to a motorway junction in Kent and Medway, would be looked on favourably by planners.

Karl Elliott, Managing Partner at Clague, added: “The key lessons from the failed proposals for the lorry park at Stanford on the M20 are to ensure the scale of any plans don’t dominate the landscape and have community support.

“There is a growing consensus that Kent needs a network of secure parking for HGVs, open 24 hours a day, to meet the ever-increasing number of vehicles coming through the Channel ports.

“Offering capacity of 250 plus vehicles, these new lorry parks would be best located near to areas with high levels of HGV traffic, such as Dartford, Medway and Swale, keeping them away from Dover and Folkestone.”

Truck stops, in terms of the facilities they offer, have moved on considerably in recent years. Safe and secure parking remains a priority, especially for those carrying high value goods, but it is increasingly about providing high quality facilities that provide proper rest bite for the drivers.

The detailed designs for the truckstop and commercial buildings at Waterbrook were developed by Clague Architects, working closely with the Maidstone office of DHA Planning who took the lead on the planning application, environmental impact assessment and outline masterplanning for the site.

Posted on | by