The future of a Grade II listed church has been put in doubt after the government bought neighboring land and turned it into a Brexit truck park.
In the surrounding land near the medieval St Mary & # 39; s Church in Sevington, Kent, construction of a large customs clearance facility with space for up to 2,000 trucks is in full swing.
The site is intended for customs controls and could also be a "temporary traffic management facility" – a parking lot – for trucks in the event of border delays, the government said.
The 27 acre field is one of 10 locations across the country earmarked for potential border infrastructure. Under the power, the government has undertaken to buy and build without first consulting local authorities or residents.
Work is in progress at other border checkpoint locations in Ashford, Birmingham, Thames Gateway, Ebbsfleet, North Weald and Warrington.
Sites have now been identified in Holyhead, South Wales and Dover, but work is still pending.
A view of the 13th century St Mary & # 39; s Church in Sevington, Ashford, Kent as the government developed a 27 acre site near the church to become a post-Brexit truck park during efforts continue to pursue a post-Brexit trade deal before December 31
The church had made plans to renovate the building and turn it into a community center, with money promised by AXA, which previously owned the neighboring land before it was sold to the government earlier this year, which means the plans now stalled
Ministers gave themselves the authority to set up 29 local authorities across the country, including Devon, Kent and Devon in the south to Liverpool and Hull in the north.
There are no plans to build the other 19 sites that are not currently set by the government.
For St. Mary & # 39; s Church, which is only separated from the construction site by a hedge, the sale of the property to the government means that plans to develop the building into a community center have been put on hold.
According to the Church Times, St. Mary & # 39; s should receive £ 450,000 for a reorganization that would turn the building into a community center.
Pictured: a map showing ten government-proposed Brexit truck locations. Sevington Ashford is also required for July 2021
The neighboring country was owned by AXA and they had offered the money as part of plans to build a warehouse complex on the site before selling it to the government earlier this year.
A spokeswoman for the Canterbury Diocese told the Church Times: "As part of their ownership of the land, the government assumed all of the obligations of that property when it was transferred by AXA."
However, she said no detailed discussions had taken place and added, "Nothing has been confirmed yet regarding the continuation of our long-planned renovations."
The renovation plans included a new parking lot, new floors and tiles, a kitchen, improved lighting and heating, and repairs to the roof, wood and masonry.
One of the government's preferred locations for its new Inland Border Facilities is the existing facility at Thames Gateway, Thurrock
Plans for a post-Brexit border checkpoint at North Weald Airfield (pictured) were approved last week. The site is expected to accommodate up to 53 trucks and the facility will be operational 24 hours a day. The controls are expected to take two hours
The second location in Ashford is to be built in Waterbrook Park, an existing truck park that the government wants to convert into an internal border facility where customs controls can be carried out after the Brexit deadline in 2021
Birmingham Airport parking lot 6 has also been designated for post-Brexit facility and can accommodate up to 200 trucks
The 29 areas in which the government can build a Brexit truck park
- Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council
- Cheshire East Council
- Cheshire West and Chester Council
- Devon County Council
- Dorset Council
- East Riding of Yorkshire Council
- East Sussex County Council
- Essex County Council
- Halton Borough Council
- Hampshire County Council
- Hull City Council
- Kent County Council
- Lancashire County Council
- Leicestershire County Council
- Liverpool City Council
- Medway Council
- North East Lincolnshire Council
- North Lincolnshire Council
- Plymouth City Council
- Portsmouth City Council
- Salford City Council
- Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council
- Somerset County Council
- Southampton City Council
- Suffolk County Council
- Thurrock Council
- Trafford Council
- Warrington Borough Council
- Warwickshire County Council
Served by St Mary & # 39; s Church, Sevington and Mersham are both villages 15 miles from the Channel Tunnel and 20 miles from the UK's largest ferry terminal at Dover.
Both routes move 4 million trucks each year, filled with groceries and all sorts of other important goods.
These goods moved back and forth freely while Britain was part of the EU's single market and customs union.
Britain left the bloc's political structures in January and will take an economic hiatus when a transition period ends on December 31st.
This means that the UK has to set up a customs border with the 27-nation EU, its largest trading partner.
Operation is managed by HMRC and the sites are to be in operation 24 hours a day with an operating permit of two years.
The government has permission to build truck parks in 29 areas of England to deal with the potential chaos in post-Brexit border trade as hopes for a free trade agreement between the UK and the EU are repeatedly dashed.
Locals will have no say in the construction of the 10 previously identified sites that will be built in Ashford, Birmingham, Thames Gateway, Ebbsfleet, North Weald, Warrington, as well as Holyhead, Dover and South Wales.
The locations were planned because it is feared that truck drivers will have long delays when entering the EU.
Plans for the location at North Weald Airfield in Essex were approved last month. Work to convert part of the site to accommodate 53 trucks and the customs checkpoint is expected to begin immediately.
It is expected to be operational by January 1, 2021 and has an operating permit until 2022, with controls and inspections of imports and exports taking place there.
Meanwhile, there are plans to use the former Shearings bus parking lot in Warrington and a second location in Kent – Waterbrook Park – as similar facilities on January 1st.
Also in Kent, Ebbsfleet International Train Station, which was used as a coronavirus test center, will be converted into a Brexit truck park with space for up to 256 trucks and is expected to be operational by January 1st.
Parking lot 6 at Birmingham Airport has been proposed as a border checkpoint with space for up to 200 trucks, despite being nearly 100 miles from the nearest coast. However, according to official sources, it was chosen because of its proximity to the M42 – an important route for freight forwarders traveling there and from the Dover Strait.
The existing coronavirus test center at Ebbsfleet International Train Station is expected to be converted into a truck park with space for 256 trucks at the beginning of the new year, when the government prepares to leave the European Union
The former Shearings bus hub in Warrington has been identified as the location for a new Inland Border Facility as part of the post-Brexit plan
Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Conservative government was reluctant to reveal details of its border plans.
However, in September it admitted that the "reasonable worst-case scenario" involved queues of "7,000 truck-bound trucks in Kent and associated maximum delays of up to two days".
Government plans to limit the disruption include converting parts of the London side of the M20 motorway into temporary queuing parking and introducing a 'Kent Access Pass' – essentially a passport that truck drivers need to travel to the EU Entering Kent from other parts of the UK.
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