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To receive any apologies for absence.
An apology for absence was received from Councillor S J Jones.
To receive any declarations of interest from Members in respect of business to be transacted on the agenda.
There were no declarations of interest made by Members.
To consider the joint report of the Strategic Director (Operations and Commercial) and Head of Planning, Regeneration and Development (to follow).
It is expected that this document will be published on 5 February 2021.
The Strategic Director (Operations and Commercial) and the Head of Planning, Regeneration and Development presented the report setting out the proposed response to the engagement by the Department for Transport on proposals to establish an Inland Border Control Facility at the White Cliffs Business Park.
Members were advised that the two addendum reports issued had made amendments to both the proposed executive response and the response of the planning authority reflecting the evolving process of the engagement.
The development proposals for the Inland Border Control Facility were being made under the provisions of a Special Development Order, in this instance under the Town and Country Planning (Border Facilities and Infrastructure) (EU Exit) (England) Special Development Order 2020, which was laid before Parliament on 3 September 2020 and came into effect on 24 September 2020. The Order made provision for the granting of temporary approval to government departments to provide facilities (including associated temporary facilities and infrastructure) in specified local authority areas for the stationing and processing of Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) entering or leaving the UK. However, under the Order these facilities had to cease operation by 31 December 2025.
The use of the Special Development Order also meant that in contrast to other development proposals within the district, the powers that the Council could exercise as the local planning authority did not apply. Instead, the Council (both as the council and as the local planning authority) was classified as an engagement party within the Special Development Order process.
The proposed executive response, as set out in the amended report, was grouped into four themes as followed:
· Traffic management and the impact on the growth agenda
· Impact on local residents and the environment
· Impact of development on Dover Fastrack and local businesses
· Support for local economic growth
The Council was asked to endorse the proposed response to the engagement process. It was noted that engagement was an on-going process and that the submission of a response was not expected to be the end of the Council’s engagement with the Department for Transport on the matter.
The Head of Planning, Regeneration and Development presented the proposed response to the engagement from the Council as the local planning authority, as set out in Appendix 3 of the report and amended by the update paper. The report proposed a number of recommendations for amendments to the scheme, including a number of mitigations, and requests for further information to be provided.
The Leader of the Council, Councillor T J Bartlett, advised that as part of a number of meetings with the Department for Transport there had been a number of positive changes in response to concerns raised by the Council. These included a new access point, a smaller number of vehicles to be accommodated on the site, a bigger buffer zone for residents of Guston and improved biodiversity.
The Leader of the Council stated that there was still a need for further mitigations concerning noise, traffic, light pollution and the environment as well as ... view the full minutes text for item 45.
To consider any other items deemed by the Chairman of the Council to be urgent in accordance with the Local Government Act 1972.
There were no items of urgent business for consideration.