Brexit: Border infrastructure planning easements welcome but timescales remain tight
The British Ports Association has welcomed the new legislation introduced to fast track the planning processes for Brexit related border infrastructure, at and around ports, but is warning that there is still a lot to be done in a short period of time.
Commenting the British Ports Association’s Chief Executive, Richard Ballantyne said,
The legislation introduced to bypass the planning processes for border infrastructure in England is certainly a welcome move. However there is still a lot to be done to get ready for 2021. At various stages next year new customs and border control processes will be introduced on European trade and our ports are working with government to look at what needs to done.
We want to see a swift roll-out of the government’s infrastructure ambitions so that our gateways to Europe are ready but there could also need to be some pragmatism needed. There is now a huge amount of government activity in this area, but the clock is certainly ticking.
The sensible and measured implementation of the new border requirements could be essential for all parts of the freight and logistics industry. Further easements may be needed next year at the end of the transition period but that discussion needs to be held at high level.
New physical and digital infrastructure is being prepared to facilitate customs and other borders processes on freight being transported between Britain and Europe and also for Northern Irish traffic. This can involve new inspection facilities and IT systems to undertake new frontier controls which come in on trade as a result of the UK’s departure from the Single Market and the Customs Union.
The British Ports Association represents 86% of UK port traffic including all the main Roll-on Roll-off gateways such as Birkenhead, Dover, Fishguard, Holyhead, Hull, Immingham, Killingholme, Newhaven, Pembroke, Plymouth, Poole, Portsmouth, Purfleet and Tyne, which collectively facilitate tens of thousand of lorry and trailer movements between Europe and the UK each day. It is this part of the ports industry which new border control processes could impact the most.
The BPA also represents all the ports in Northern Ireland and has been working closely with the UK Government’s Board Planning and Delivery Group and the HMRC to explore what needs to be done as we approach the end of the Brexit transition period.
The Town and Country Planning (Border Facilities and Infrastructure) (EU Exit) (England) Special Development Order 2020 lists the following councils as being covered:
(a)Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council
(b)Cheshire East Council
(c)Cheshire West and Chester Council
(d)Devon County Council
(f)East Riding of Yorkshire Council
(g)East Sussex County Council
(h)Essex County Council
(i)Halton Borough Council
(j)Hampshire County Council
(k)Hull City Council
(l)Kent County Council
(m)Lancashire County Council
(n)Leicestershire County Council
(o)Liverpool City Council
(q)North East Lincolnshire Council
(r)North Lincolnshire Council
(s)Plymouth City Council
(t)Portsmouth City Council
(u)Salford City Council
(v)Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council
(w)Somerset County Council
(x)Southampton City Council
(y)Suffolk County Council
(bb)Warrington Borough Council
(cc)Warwickshire County Council
Specific sites are not named but the Order’s Explanatory Note gives an overview including points on timescales:
“This Order grants temporary planning permission for development consisting of the use of land for the stationing and processing of vehicles (particularly goods vehicles) entering or leaving Great Britain, and the provision of associated temporary facilities and infrastructure. Development permitted by this Order can only be carried out by, or on behalf of, a border department named in the Order. The development must end by 31 December 2025, and all reinstatement works must have been completed by 31 December 2026.”
Source: British Ports’ Association