Dover Inland Border Facility

Overview

The United Kingdom (UK) has left the European Union (EU) and a transition period was in place until 31st December 2020. This website explains the Government’s plans to introduce an Inland Border Facility alongside the A2, near Dover. This website also details how interested individuals and organisations can submit comments on the proposals.

How to Comment on the Proposals

This consultation has now closed (at 23.59 on 17th November 2021).

Background

Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is progressing plans for the Dover IBF as the sole occupier. Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and Department for Transport (DfT) will no longer be having a presence at this precise location. The site will carry out customs checks, comprising documentary and physical inspections of goods entering and leaving the country including document checks on consignments covered by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and market surveillance.

It will include parking areas for HGVs, vans and cars while waiting to be processed for customs purposes, as well as security measures and facilities to enable the checking of vehicles and goods entering and exiting the site. HMRC’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 Dover IBF proposals are designed to ensure that there are no significant or long-term environmental effects. HMRC has undertaken a review of options for the use and layout of the site and is engaging with community and technical stakeholders. You can view a copy of the letter sent to local residents at the bottom of this website in the ‘Documents’ section.


Why do we need Inland Border Facilities?

Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) are engaging with interested individuals and organisations to explain the need for Inland Border Facilities (IBFs). Previous rules on trade, travel, and businesses for the

EU and UK continued to apply during the transition period, until new rules were brought into effect from 1 January 2021.

The new rules require additional customs and transit checks to support ports like Dover. Where there is no space at ports for new border infrastructure, the Government has provided new Inland Border Facilities where these checks and other activities will take place.

Inland Border Facility Location

The Dover IBF is proposed alongside the A2 in Kent, near to the villages of Guston and Whitfield, just outside Dover. The proposed facility would be located off the Whitfield Interchange between the A2 and the A256, providing access to the Port of Dover and the M2 motorway. The site is approximately 15.2 hectares in size, comprising two parcels of land, divided by the Roman Road which runs through the area north to south. In the Dover District Local Plan this site is allocated to be developed for employment use.

This page has been updated to reflect the changes to the proposals made in October 2021 (following the first consultation between 13 January 2021 and 10 February 2021). It provides an opportunity for interested individuals and organisations to view information about the Government’s proposals for the Dover Inland Border Facility.

An Information leaflet which summarises the information shown on this website can be downloaded here. Please note that this consultation has now closed (at 23.59 on 17th November 2021).

Timeline

HMRC is making preparations for Dover Inland Border Facility and intends to submit proposals (under a Special Development Order (SDO)). The proposed timeline (subject to any approval) is shown below.

  • December 2021 – SDO Article 4 submission
  • Early 2022 – Start of main construction works
  • Late 2022 – Start of site operations

Approval for the site will be sought under the requirements of a Special Development Order (SDO).

An SDO was laid in Parliament on 3 September 2020 (The Town and Country Planning (Border Facilities and Infrastructure) (EU Exit) (England) Special Development Order 2020) and came into force on 24 September.

The legislation provides for the granting of temporary planning permission to government departments, to provide facilities to critical infrastructure in specified local authority areas for the stationing and processing of HGVs and consignments entering or leaving the UK.

It also allows for the provision of associated temporary facilities and infrastructure. The legislation states that the facilities will have planning permission until 31 December 2025. Should the site be required for longer, a full planning application will be submitted.

The 2020 SDO includes four sections and can be viewed at: www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2020/928/schedule/2/made

Next steps:

The submission of a site-specific proposal is required under Article 4 (Relevant Approvals) of the 2020 SDO. A number of separate documents are required as part of the submission:

  • Site boundary plans
  • Site access plans
  • Confirmation of site duration use
  • A report considering the likely environmental effects and appropriate mitigation proposals
  • A Transport Statement
  • A Stakeholder Engagement Report
  • A Planning Statement (including a description of the proposed development and its intended uses, planning context, application of relevant national and local planning policies, assessment of the relevant planning issues and any other material considerations which are relevant, along with compliance with Human Rights and Equalities Legislation).

Further subsequent details will also need to be submitted, following the Article 4 Submission, including:

  • A Construction Management Plan
  • An Operational Management Plan
  • A Reinstatement Plan

Construction and Operations

Subject to any approval for the use of the site, a Construction Management Plan (CMP) will also need to be developed and will need to be approved in advance of any construction works commencing on the main site. The CMP will explain how construction works will be managed. It also ensures that possible impacts that may arise from those works have been appropriately identified and mitigated.

Subject to any approval for the use of the site, an Operational Management Plan (OMP) will be developed and will need to be approved in advance of the site operating. The OMP will 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, a non-technical summary of the CMP and OMP will then be made available on this website.

Traffic flow and access

Directing vehicles to the inland border facility

HGV traffic will access the site from Dover Fastrack via the Whitfield Interchange on the A2 (junction with the A256). Dover Fastrack obtained planning consent in early 2021 and construction will commence in 2022 by Kent County Council and Dover District Council.

HGVs travelling eastbound on the M2 will join the A2 and pass Canterbury. Entrance to the Inland Border Facility will be via the eastbound slip road off the Whitfield Interchange.

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 Dover IBF will be signposted via the westbound off-slip from the A2 at Whitfield Interchange.

Prominent road signage

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 Dover IBF. There will also be signs outside the site entrance to advise about the facilities on site.

Entry and exit points at the facility

The new site access junction would be located off the proposed Dover Fastrack, 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 900m from the Whitfield Interchange.

Information for hauliers

Information for hauliers attending the Dover Inland Border Facility is available to view here

Access & vehicle movement plan

Traffic Modelling

The Inland Border Facility will not be used as a Iorry park for traffic management. Initial strategic traffic modelling assessments have taken place which show no significant impacts as a result of the scheme.

Vehicles we’d expect to attend the IBF would already be travelling along the A2/M2 route so we will not be adding additional traffic to the area. 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 site.

HMRC will be working closely with National Highways who manage the Strategic Road Network, and Kent County Council who will manage the local road network, when the site is in operation.

When the site is operational, and if required, there will be regular monitoring of potential traffic effects on neighbouring roads caused by vehicles travelling to and from the site. Where necessary, mitigation can be implemented through operational processes and the Operational Management Plan (OMP).


Access to the Dover IBF

Local Roads

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 of potential traffic effects on neighbouring roads caused by vehicles travelling to and from the Dover IBF. Where necessary, mitigation will be implemented through an Operational Management Plan (OMP).

Lorry (HGV) Capacity

The overall parking capacity on the site (that will include for all regulatory checks and inspections) is up to 150 HGVs including parking bays and the pre-screening area.

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 under SDO requirements and are designed to ensure no significant long-term environmental effects. Given the current 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 (24/7), with night lighting required. A landscape and visual strategy will be implemented on the site which will provide measures to reduce the potential for adverse environmental effects. Under the SDO requirements no buildings can exceed 15 metres in height.

A suitable colour scheme for buildings to integrate them into the surrounding landscape will be implemented and landscaping will be undertaken to reduce the visual and noise impacts for local residents. 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. The distance between the IBF and local residents in St Martin’s Road is about 270m to the staff car parking area and about 400m to the main operation of the site where HGVs will be located.

As part of the SDO submission, 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, drainage and water, and noise. The report will also consider geology and soils, material assets and waste, population and health, and climate.


How the site will operate

Subject to any approval, the site will become operational from late 2022. Staff will be working on site in shift patterns and there will be parking provisions, offices and welfare facilities provided for them.

The site will operate 24/7. An Operational Management Plan will explain how the site will be managed and operated safely. Site staff will include fully trained security personnel and emergency response staff. Closed circuit television cameras will be positioned across the site to monitor site activities.

After entering the site, HGVs and other goods vehicles will visit the Vehicle Entry Check Point before being directed to a vacant HGV parking space. From there the HGVs will be directed to the appropriate check.

HMRC will undertake customs and transit checks as required. During processing, drivers must remain on the site. The expectation is for vehicles to spend the minimum amount of time possible at the site and no more than 2 hours in most circumstances. Once checks have been completed, the vehicles will leave the site via the exit gates to continue their journeys.

Covid-19

To limit risks from the Covid-19 virus; drivers will spend a limited time on site, there will be hot and cold running water, toilets, hand cleaning facilities and provision of drinking water. The site has been designed taking social distancing into consideration, and the latest Government guidelines on Covid-19 will be followed in all circumstances.

Byway Open to All Traffic (BOAT)

A Byway Open to All Traffic (BOAT) and the North Downs Way National Trail pass through the site. As a result of this we propose to re-route the BOAT and National Trail along the eastern boundary of the Dover IBF site.

In advance of the next stage of archaeological investigation works Kent County Council will be implementing a partial temporary diversion of the BOAT/National Trail from 8 November 2021. Appropriate signage on site will be provided to indicate the route of the diversion around the archaeological investigatory works. The works are scheduled to take up to four weeks, following which the BOAT and the North Downs Way National Trail will be reinstated to the current alignment upon completion of the archaeological investigations.

Frequently asked questions

What is the role of the inland border facility?

The Dover IBF site will act as a location for starting and ending the transit of consignments to and from the UK and for documentary and physical inspections of goods entering and leaving the country. The site will include 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 buildings as well as staff and driver welfare amenities.

Why this location?

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.

What is the site?

  • The new rules require additional customs and transit checks to support ports like Dover. Where there is no space at ports for new border infrastructure, the Government has provided new Inland Border Facilities where these checks and other activities will take place.
  • The site will carry out customs checks, including documentary and physical inspections of goods entering and leaving the country.
  • It will include parking areas for HGVs, vans and cars while waiting to be processed for customs purposes, as well as security measures and facilities to enable the checking of vehicles and goods entering and exiting the site.
  • The Inland Border Facility will not be used as a Iorry park for traffic management.
  • The site will operate 24/7. An Operational Management Plan will explain how the site will be managed and operated safely.

Are we learning from other IBF sites?

We have reviewed our operations on existing IBFs to learn lessons from them, and these lessons are being applied here, at the Dover IBF. For example, we are thoroughly reviewing our lighting strategy to minimise any potential impacts and have been carefully considering the colour and materials of proposed buildings to again seek to minimise any potential impacts.

Will construction and operation of the site impact local communities?

HGVs that access the site will not be directed past any 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.

How many staff will be on site?

The number of staff needed on site will be determined as part of the OMP, which will explain how the site will be managed and operated safely.

What type of vehicles are expected to use the inland border facility?

The Inland Border Facility will be used by goods vehicles that will comprise HGVs, cars and vans, including staff vehicles.

Are refrigerated vehicles expected at the inland border facility?

Provision is being made for refrigerated vehicles including electric hookups. No idling will be permitted by any vehicles as engines of all stationary vehicles must be switched off while on site.

Will vehicles be inspected at the inland border facility?

The overall parking capacity on the site (that will include for all regulatory checks and inspections) is up to 150 HGVs including parking bays and the pre-screening area.

Will consignments be unloaded at the inland border facility?

There are inspection facilities on site, and it is anticipated that some consignments that are brought to the site will need a physical examination.

Will there be any hazardous materials brought on to the inland border facility?

Any HGVs carrying hazardous materials will be safely segregated on-site. An Operational Management Plan (OMP) 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.

How will traffic be managed?

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 of potential traffic effects on neighbouring roads caused by vehicles travelling to and from the Dover IBF. Where necessary, mitigation will be implemented through an Operational Management Plan (OMP).

When will construction work start?

It is intended that the main construction works of the Dover Inland Border Facility will commence in early 2022, subject to any approval. Some on-site survey work has been undertaken as part of the site investigation work.

HMRC is making preparations for Dover Inland Border Facility and intends to submit a 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 Dover 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 published a formal public notice in the Kent Messenger in April 2021. The works are anticipated to begin in mid-November 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.

Safety and enjoyment of walkers is a key priority. Any proposed changes to the BOAT and North Downs Way National Trail will be advertised in the Kent Messenger. We will also ensure signage on the ground is up-to-date and current to users guides on the ground.

What is a BOAT?

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 Dover site, vehicles are only permitted from 1st May – 30th September.

Documents

Documents for 2nd Consultation:

Documents from 1st Consultation:

How we use your information

HMRC is a Data Controller under the Data Protection Act 2018. We hold information for the purposes specified in our notification to the Information Commissioner, including the assessment and collection of tax and duties, the payment of benefits and the prevention and detection of crime, and may use this information for any of them.

We may get information about you from others, or we may give information to them. If we do, it will only be as the law permits to:

  • check the accuracy of information
  • prevent or detect crime
  • protect public funds

We may check information we receive about you with what is already in our records. This can include information provided by you, as well as by others, such as other government departments or agencies and overseas tax and customs authorities. We’ll not give information to anyone outside HMRC unless the law permits us to do so.

If you are not happy with how we are using your personal data, you should first contact or advice.dpa@hmrc.gov.uk If you’re still not happy, or for independent advice about data protection, privacy and data sharing, you can contact:

The Information Commissioner’s Office,
Wycliffe House, Water Lane,
Wilmslow, Cheshire. SK9 5AF
Telephone: 0303 123 1113 or 01625 545 745
https://ico.org.uk