PML MD Mike Parr

Logistics firm Perishable Movements Limited (PML) has reassured customers that its new lorry park near Dover should be ready by November after the government drastically downscaled plans for a huge Brexit customs clearance park at the port.

The HMRC facility will now only be a quarter of the one originally anticipated with space for just 96 lorries and 20 extra spaces for reversing trucks and be without the anticipated Border Control Post (BCP) which would have carried out physical health checks on chilled and frozen food.

HMRC told local people they had “learned the lessons” from a huge Brexit lorry park at nearby Sevington, near Ashford.

Officials will now only conduct the required customs paperwork checks at the site with additional physical inspections being moved to a further site at Whitfield.

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Responding to HMRC's decision, a statement from PML read: “PML wishes to reassure all those involved in the transfer of perishable cargo that while works at the Dover site have yet to begin (building is not due to start until February or March 2022) PML is already well underway with the refurbishment of its recently acquired 100,000 sq ft site at nearby Lympne which will have the capacity to park up to 60 trailers in its first stage of the development, with scope for a further 40 in stage two.

"PML will also be applying for remote HMRC / DEFRA approved BCP status at the site to enable physical checks and has the capacity to unload 14 lorries at any one time – whilst retaining temperature controlled conditions - ensuring a streamlined and seamless transit of consignments out of the Port of Dover.

"The PML Lympne facility is sited on a business park, thus minimising disruption to residents and is being developed without any detrimental impact to any local heritage sites (the Dover lorry park would have originally destroyed an ancient Roman way).

"In addition to providing an efficient and smooth operation, with no breaks in the cold chain, the extensive development of the site will include superb additional amenities for HGV drivers, who for far too long, have been denied access to vital safe parking and general welfare facilities. We anticipate the site will be in operation from the end of October although at this point, we are unable to advise of a date for confirmation of BCP status as this is out of our hands. However, rest assured, PML will be working tirelessly to progress this.

"At a time when HGV drivers are under such tremendous pressure, PML is doing everything in its power to demonstrate a duty of care to these essential workers, enabling them to fulfil their driving responsibilities and offering a speedy, safe, and ultimately, comfortable route out of Dover.”