The government has encouraged the industry to respond to plans to overhaul the country’s outdated planning system and explain how “high quality” lorry parking facilities should be provided.

In a response to a petition demanding that councils are forced to include “safe and secure HGV parking with refreshment and washing facilities for drivers” when deciding distribution park applications, it said it was considering “innovative ideas” to improve HGV parks.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) said: “As part of our wider agenda for planning reform, we have published our Planning for the Future proposals for reforms to the planning system.

“We are consulting on these proposals until 29 October, and would welcome views on planning for high quality HGV facilities as part of that.”

The MHCLG said it recently introduced policy that local plans and decisions should recognise the importance of adequate overnight lorry parking facilities: “Consequently, proposals for new or expanded distribution centres should include provision for sufficient lorry parking to cater for their anticipated use,” the department responded.

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“This policy is set out in our National Planning Policy Framework.

“This must be taken into account when local authorities are preparing their local plans and is a material consideration in planning decisions.”

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps recently wrote to the RHA chief executive, pledging to improve overnight HGV parking facilities as part of the Covid-19 recovery plan.

In the letter, Shapps said his department was “committed to looking at both established and new approaches to increase the provision for improved overnight lorry parking in England.”

The Planning for the Future consultation can be accessed here: