This page provides an opportunity for interested individuals and organisations to view information about the Government’s proposals for the White Cliffs Inland Border Facility.
The site would act as a location for starting and ending transit movements of goods from the UK. The site would include waiting areas for HGVs and other vehicles as well as security measures and facilities to enable the checking of vehicles and goods entering and exiting the site.
The engagement period for the White Cliffs Inland Border Facility has now closed.
Site Information Materials
Further details about the White Cliffs Inland Border Facility are available to view in an Information Booklet which can be downloaded here
An Additional Information Booklet and covering letter has been sent to residents on 23rd January highlighting further information regarding the proposals. The additional information booklet can be downloaded here
Updates for the community regarding the project and any anticipated construction details will be posted here.
Construction and Operations
Subject to any approval for the use of the site, an operational management plan would be developed and would need to be approved in advance of the site operating. The OMP would explain the tasks involved in safely managing and operating the site in a manner to reduce the potential for any adverse impacts on site or locally. It provides a framework of guidance to all site users and describes in detail the arrangements for delivering the intended services.
Subject to any approval for the use of the site, a construction management plan would also need to be developed and would need to be approved in advance of any construction works commencing on the main site. The CMP would explain how construction works will be managed. It also ensures that possible impacts that may arise from the works have been appropriately identified and mitigated.
Subject to any approval, a non-technical summary of the OMP and CMP would then be made available on this website.
Inland border facility location
The White Cliffs Inland Border Facility is located alongside the A2 in Kent, near to the villages of Guston and Whitfield, just outside of Dover. The facility is located off the Whitfield Interchange between the A2 and the A256, providing access to the Port of Dover and the M2 motorway. The White Cliffs site is approximately 37.6 hectares in size, comprising two parcels of land, divided by the Roman Road which runs through the area north to south.
The Department for Transport is making preparations for Dover White Cliffs Inland Border Facility and intends to submit a planning proposal (under a Special Development Order (SDO).
As you will likely be aware, archaeological investigations commenced on site in December last year. It has since been identified that additional archaeological investigations are required on the Roman Road. These works need to be carried out as part of the continuing investigations and survey work on the White Cliffs site, ahead of any construction work beginning should the application for planning permission for the site be successful.
To allow the byway and North Downs Way to remain open to the public a minor, short-term diversion is required to re-route the byway and North Downs Way around the areas where work will be taking place. To implement a diversion, a Temporary Traffic Regulation Order (TTRO) is needed to authorise the closure of the affected areas of the byway. This process is managed by the Public Rights of Way team at Kent County Council, the highways authority for Kent.
Kent County Council will be publishing a formal public notice in the Kent Messenger on 15 April 2021. The works are anticipated to begin in mid-May and will last approximately four weeks. The byway and North Downs Way are expected to be reinstated to its current alignment upon completion of the archaeological investigations.
The proposed diversion will only slightly deviate from its current route and is not anticipated to cause a significant impact on users of the byway. Please see the diverted route map for details. As you may notice a presence of machinery and engineers I wanted to clarify the reason for their presence and assure you that every effort will be made to limit any disturbance. Similarly, to the investigations carried out in late 2020, the contractors on site will implement the following mitigation:
- No machinery will be left idling if not in use.
- The survey compound will be positioned at the furthest point from residential dwellings.
- Working hours to be limited between 7:45 and 16:15.
- No weekend working is anticipated at this time.
Safety and enjoyment of walkers is our key priority. Any proposed changes to the BOAT and North Downs Way National Trail will be advertised in the Kent Messenger, on our website www.inlandborderfacilities.uk and shared with all the relevant stakeholders. We will also ensure signage on the ground is up-to-date and current to users guides on the ground
Frequently asked questions
A BOAT is a Byway Open to All Traffic. While a footpath can be used by walkers and a bridleway can be used by walkers and horses, a BOAT can be used by walkers, horses and motorised vehicles. Some BOATs have restrictions on when vehicles can use the BOAT, usually to protect the BOAT from damage during times of bad weather.
For the BOAT crossing the White Cliffs site, vehicles are only permitted from 1st May – 30th September.
National Trails are long distance footpaths and bridleways. They are designated by the Government and are managed to a set of quality standards. There are 16 within the UK.
The North Downs Way National Trail is a famous European Cultural Route connecting Canterbury with Rome. Within the UK, the trail connects Farnham to Canterbury. The part of the route which connects Winchester and Canterbury Cathedral’s is known as the Pilgrim’s Way.
The National Trail and BOAT are two different types of rights of way. At White Cliffs, these currently follow the same route through the site.
The BOAT and National Trail diversion is proposed to run parallel to the current alignment and would be located approximately 10 metres to the east of the current alignment. Further developments in relation to the BOAT and National Trail diversion will be published on the Inland Border Facility, Kent County Council and the North Downs Way website.
We anticipate that the archaeological investigations will happen on the Roman Road between mid-May and mid-June.
We will work closely with Kent County Council and the National Trail Partnership to make sure information and maps on their website are up to date. We will publish information on our website and notices in the Kent Messenger as well as our website www.inlandborderfacilities.uk. We will also make sure there is clear signage in and around the route showing where the new or temporary route is on the ground.
We will make every effort to keep residents informed of all developments.
The Department for Transport (DfT) is progressing plans for the White Cliffs Inland Border Facility. The site will act as a location for starting and ending the transit of goods to and from the UK for Department of Environmental, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) and HMRC. This includes a Border Control Post (BCP) to support the Port of Dover where inbound consignments to the UK may be inspected in a biosecure facility, such as plants, animals and products of animal and plant origin (e.g. food). It will include parking areas for HGVs, while waiting to be processed, and other vehicles as well as security measures and facilities to enable the checking of vehicles and goods entering and exiting the site. The DfT’s proposed use of the site will require approval, which is being sought by the Government under the requirements of a Special Development Order (SDO).
The White Cliffs Inland Border Facility proposals are planned for temporary use and are designed to ensure that there are no significant or long-term environmental effects. The DfT does not expect to use this site as a temporary lorry holding facility. The DfT, alongside other Government departments, has undertaken a review of options for the use and layout of the site and, based on current planning, expect the site to be needed for up to five years. The DfT is engaging with community and technical stakeholders. You can view copies of letters sent to residents regarding the proposals below:
- 27/10/2020 DfT Government Preparations for the End of the Transition Period with EU
- 02/12/2020 Intrusive surveys taking place at White Cliffs
- 31/12/2020 Acquisition of the White Cliffs site
- 13/01/2021 Engagement notice
- 23/01/2021 Letter to Residents
- 23/01/2021 Proposal Update
Traffic flow and access
HGV traffic will access the site via the Whitfield Interchange on the A2 (junction with the A256).
From London, the Midlands, the East of England and the North of England
HGVs travelling eastbound on the M2 will join the A2 and pass Canterbury. Entrance to the inland border facility will be via the eastbound off-slip of the Whitfield Interchange. The A20/M20 can also be used as an alternative route to access/leave the site.
From the Port of Dover
HGVs will use the elevated Jubilee Way to exit the port and continue northbound on the A2, following signs for Canterbury and the M2. The White Cliffs IBF will be signposted via the westbound off-slip from the A2 at Whitfield Interchange.
Prominent road signage will be located on the route to and from the Port of Dover along the A2 corridor for those HGV drivers required to report to the White Cliffs Inland Border Facility. There will also be signs outside the site entrance to advise hauliers
about the use of site facilities and providing site contact details.
The new site access junction would be located off the proposed Dover Fast Track, which would connect the Honeywood Parkway with Dover Road. The site access would be approximately 250m from the Whitfield Interchange of the A2. The separate site exit would be approximately 900 metres from the Whitfield Interchange.
The Inland Border Facility will not be used as a lorry park for traffic management. Initial strategic traffic modelling assessments have taken place which show no significant impacts as a result of the scheme. Further traffic modelling is ongoing and will be reported in detail in the Transport Assessment. Modelling is being undertaken for multiple junctions in the vicinity of the Inland Border Facility (IBF) site.
DfT will be working closely with Highways England to manage the Strategic Road Network, and Kent County Council to manage the local road network, when the site is in operation.
When the site is operational, there will be regular monitoring and reporting of potential traffic effects on neighbouring roads caused by vehicles travelling to and from the site. Where necessary, mitigation will be implemented through an Operational Management Plan (OMP)
Environment and landscaping
As part of the site-specific proposals for the inland border facility, environmental studies will be completed and relevant bodies, including the Environment Agency, Natural England and Historic England continue to be engaged about the use of the site.
The inland border facility proposals are temporary and are designed to ensure no significant long-term environmental effects. DfT, alongside other Government departments, has reviewed the options for use of the site and, based on current readiness planning, expect the site to be needed for up to five years.
Given the temporary nature of the inland border facilities, reinstatement plans will be prepared for implementation when activities on the site cease with the intention to ensure a biodiversity net gain.
The site will be operational 365 days a year and 24 hours a day, with night lighting required. A landscape strategy will therefore be implemented on the site which will provide measures to reduce the potential for adverse environmental effects. The landscaping will also reduce the visual and noise impacts for local residents. We plan to mitigate visual impacts for those potentially impacted. For St Martin’s Road in Guston, it is intended that this is done through the construction of a grassed and planted earth bund, to acoustically and visually screen the site from local residents.
As part of the SDO approval, a study of the likely environmental effects report will be produced. This study will include consideration of air quality, cultural heritage, landscape and visual effects, biodiversity, road drainage and water, and noise. The report will also consider geology and soils, material assets and waste, population and health, and climate.
Frequently asked questions
The White Cliffs site will act as a location for starting and ending the transit of consignments to and from the UK. Each location includes parking areas for HGVs and other vehicles as well as security measures and facilities to enable the checking of vehicles and consignments entering and exiting the sites. There are also temporary buildings as well as staff and driver welfare amenities.
With its location on the A2, approximately 3 miles (5km) from the Port of Dover, 50 miles (80km) from the M25 and just under 70 miles (110km) from Central London, the site provides direct connectivity to the Port of Dover and the Strategic Road Network.
HGVs that access the site will also not pass by residential properties. However, for properties that are close to the site, an acoustic bund and landscaping will be established to provide further mitigation from visual and noise impacts. The site manager will be contactable by local residents should there be any adverse impacts.
Site staff will include fully trained security personnel, traffic management staff and emergency response personnel. The number of staff needed on site will be determined as part of the Operational Management Plan, which will explain how the site will be managed and operated safely. A number of local jobs could be created as a result of the need for staff on the White Cliffs IBF site
The inland border facility will be used by HGVs, cars and vans, including staff vehicles.
Provision is being made for refrigerated vehicles. No idling will be permitted by any vehicles as engines of all stationary vehicles must be switched off while on site.
The overall parking capacity for HGVs on the site (that will include for all regulatory checks and inspections) is up to 550 HGVs including the pre-screening area.
Legislation states that inbound consignments requiring SPS checks (e.g. food, plants, live animals) must be carried out at a BCP as close to the port of entry as possible. White Cliffs will host the BCP required for the Port of Dover and Sevington BCP will support the port of Eurotunnel. White Cliffs is close to the strategic road network (the M2/A2 corridor) while Sevington is located in Ashford close to the M20.
There are examination facilities on site, and it is anticipated that some consignments that are brought to the site will need a physical examination.
An Operational Management Plan will be developed for the inland border facility which will explain how the site will be managed and operated safely, including in relation to any hazardous materials.
Traffic impacts on the local and strategic road network are being assessed and managed in conjunction with local and national stakeholders. When the site is operational, there will be regular monitoring and reporting of potential traffic effects on neighbouring roads caused by vehicles travelling to and from the White Cliffs Inland Border Facility. Where necessary, mitigation will be implemented through an Operational Management Plan (OMP). The emergency services may occasionally need to access the site from Dover Road along the eastern section of Dover Fast Track which ordinarily will be for buses only.
It is intended that construction of the White Cliffs Inland Border Facility will commence in early 2021, subject to any approval. Some on-site survey work has been undertaken as part of the site investigation work.