Hauliers are backing government plans to create a 27-acre Brexit customs clearance centre and lorry park near Ashford in Kent.
Plans for the site, which will accommodate over 10,000 lorries, were revealed by the government last week.
The site, known as Mojo, is close to junction 10a of the M20 and will be used to minimise potential disruption at Kent ports at the end of the Brexit transition period.
Work begins at the site today (13 July) to build fencing, a temporary site office, and an access route from the A2070 link road.
The move has prompted an outcry from local Ashford residents, despite almost 60% of residents having voted in favour of exiting the EU in the EU referendum in 2016.
Local Conservative MP Damian Green said it was "unfair to Ashford" as it is "too near too many homes for it to be the right place".
RHA national policy director Duncan Buchanan told motortransport.co.uk: “What is the alternative? If you are going to increase customs checks 100 times over you need somewhere to put trucks while they are being processed – it is either that or a paralysed border.”
Buchanan said the site will go some way to addressing the shortage of lorry parks in the area and questioned Damian Green’s concerns about the impact on the local community.
“It is clear that lorry drivers need more facilities and lorry parks do not generate huge amounts of noise or pollution.
“The lorries will be parked, they will not be idling so the environmental impact will be minimal and let’s not forget this site is not near residents, it is next to a major motorway.”