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Court hearing for £250m Operation Stack lorry park due in December

PUBLISHED: 11:16 11 July 2017 | UPDATED: 11:16 11 July 2017

Operation Stack

Operation Stack

2008 Getty Images

The judicial review was initially pushed back due to the snap general election

A court hearing on controversial plans for a lorry park “the size of Disneyland” to ease problems caused by Operation Stack is due in December, Kent News can reveal.

Former chancellor George Osborne first announced in 2015 a £250m pledge to build a huge holding area for trucks after the county was blighted by gridlock two years ago.

It earmarked the village of Stanford, near Folkestone, just off the M20 as the ideal location for the park, but campaigners have vehemently opposed the move and launched a judicial review against the decision.

A date for the review was originally set for June 27, however Theresa May’s decision to call a snap general election saw progress stall, with the government concerned the new administration would need time to take stock of the issue.

Roads chiefs said the hearing would not be held before October but the government has now revealed it is due for December, which will be some 17 months after the Department for Transport announced its intention to develop the facility on the Stanford West site.

While Stack hasn’t been in operation since the lorry park was first proposed, the prospect of a changing relationship with France under newly-elected president Emmanuel Macron, as well as the need for Britain to negotiate free trade agreements with the European Union after Brexit, has sparked concern among many that there could be delays on a regular basis at Kent’s ports.

Kent County Council’s cabinet member for transport, Matthew Balfour, recently called on the government to “push on at pace” given the country’s uncertain future.

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