Ashford – Waterbrook Inland Border Facility (Closed)

Update: The Waterbrook Inland Border Facility closed in March 2021. The information below relates to the site’s previous planning and operational conditions as an inland border facility.


This page provides an opportunity for interested individuals and organisations to view information about the Government’s proposals for the Waterbrook Inland Border Facility.

The site acts as a location for starting and ending transit movements of goods from the UK. The site includes parking 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 submission relating to the Government’s proposals for the Waterbrook Inland Border Facility was approved by the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) in December 2020. As such, the site at Waterbrook is in use as an inland border facility as of 1 January 2021 for 24 months. The site is also subject to construction and operational management plans which have now been approved.

The decision notice relating to MHCLG’s approval of the SDO application is available to view here

Contact us

If you have a specific concern, please contact us using the email below:

Community Updates

News and updates for the local community regarding the Waterbrook Inland Border Facility are available to view below.

13th March 2021

• From midnight March 13th 2021, Ashford Waterbrook Inland Border Facility (IBF) will close and all operations will run from Ashford Sevington IBF.
• All functions will move to Sevington and Waterbrook will then be a contingency site and will not be operational.
• Customers of Sevington IBF need not be concerned about the distance of the new location compared with Waterbrook, as it is approximately only 2.2 miles from its predecessor, with an estimated travel time of 7 minutes. There will be security staff available at Waterbrook post the transition, in the event hauliers accidentally arrive at the location rather than Sevington.
• Hauliers are being communicated to via updated local signage, webpages, the Haulier Handbook, the ‘Attend an IBF’ App and key stakeholder meetings, to ensure flow of trade is not compromised.

1st January 2020

The Waterbrook Inland Border facility is now operational, enabling the safe and efficient processing of customs paperwork relating to international freight movement.

The operations of the inland border facility will continue to be carefully managed in accordance with the requirements of the approved Operational Management Plan (OMP). This includes the ongoing monitoring of traffic flows and site usage in conjunction with the local highway authority and Highways England.

As part of ongoing traffic management, signage has been used on local and strategic road networks to enable HGV drivers and staff to navigate to the site. Signage on site also provides contact information for any possible issues.

Engagement from Government departments with key stakeholders is ongoing to ensure that they are kept informed regarding operations on site. Further information for hauliers and guidance on attending an Inland Border Facility is available here

24th December 2020

In order to assist with delivery of the Ashford sites, we are seeking approval for the temporary operation of both Sevington and Waterbrook in parallel for a temporary period and on a limited basis from 1 January 2021 until the end of February 2021. It is proposed that HMRC function (customs checks) would be carried out at Waterbrook during this period with DfT traffic management and HGV border readiness checks happening at Sevington. It is important to note that the total level of activity across the two sites would be no more than that proposed just on the Sevington site in terms of total HGV movements. As we stated during the engagement period, there is no intention to operate both sites fully as inland border facilities at the same time. Further consideration has been given to the potential environmental effects of both sites operating on this limited basis. We have concluded that there would not be any significant impacts from this and no greater effects than those assessed previously with only one of the sites in operation.

23rd October 2020

We wanted to let you know that we will be commencing some construction works on the site under the existing temporary planning permission. These works will be carried out under the current Special Development Order for the site which expires on the 31st of December 2020.  

You may see some site set up works starting from 26 October, with construction works commencing. from 2 November 2020. 

This work is important to ensure that the site can be ready for the 1st of January 2021 to help support readiness for the end of the transition period. Inland border facilities form an essential part of our preparations to manage any potential disruption and ensure the free flow of goods in and out of the UK.

All works will be carried out in accordance with an approved construction management plan in order to minimise any potential impacts upon local residents. 

Construction and Operations

An Operational Management Plan (OMP) has been developed for the inland border facility. The OMP explains 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. A non-technical summary of the OMP can be viewed here

A Construction Management Plan (CMP) has been developed for the inland border facility. The CMP explains how construction works will be managed. It also ensures that possible impacts that may arise from the works have been appropriately identified and mitigated. The CMP for the inland border facility is available to view here

Site Location Map

Inland border facility location

The site is located south east of Ashford, Kent. It can be accessed by junction 10a of the M20 towards the A2070. Hauliers can enter the site through Waterbrook Avenue, on the southern side of the A2070 Orbital Park Roundabout.

Traffic flow and access

Directing vehicles to the inland border facility

Most HGVs access the site by travelling up the M20, exiting at junction 10a, before taking the A2070 westbound and exiting onto Waterbrook Avenue.

From the North

HGVs accessing the site from the north exit the M20 at junction 10.

From the South Coast and Kent

HGVs travelling from the South Coast take the A259 and A2070 before existing onto Waterbrook Avenue, whilst some HGVs from Kent take the A28 and A2070 before exiting onto Waterbrook Avenue.

Prominent road signage

Prominent road signage has been installed that directs HGV drivers to the inland border facility from the Dover ports and Eurotunnel.

There are signs outside the site entrance to advise hauliers about the use of site facilities and providing site contact details.

Entry and exit points at the site

Separate exit and entry points at the site have been designed so as to present a one way system. Access to the site is gained from a new link road running from Waterbrook Avenue at the roundabout which also serves the Ashford International Truck Stop. Vehicles enter the site through a security marshalled access point and egress takes place through the existing security access / egress point which is immediately south of the Arrowhead Road roundabout at which point vehicles turn left to exit the site.

Information for hauliers

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

Access & vehicle movement plan


As part of the proposals for the inland border facility, relevant bodies including the Environment Agency, Natural England and Historic England have been engaged about the use of the site.

The inland border facility proposals are temporary and are designed to ensure no significant or long-term environmental effects. Given the temporary nature of the inland border facilities, reinstatement plans have been prepared which can be implemented when any inland border facility activities cease.

As part of the SDO approval, a study of the likely environmental effects has been produced. This study has considered air quality, cultural heritage, landscape and visual effects, biodiversity, road drainage and water. Noise monitoring is currently being carried out to allow the noise levels generated by the site to be monitored and mitigated if necessary. The study has also considered geology and soils, material assets and waste, population and health, and climate.

Frequently asked questions

What is the role of the inland border facility?

The site acts as a location for starting and ending the transit movement of goods 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 entering and exiting the sites. There are also temporary office buildings, as well as staff and driver welfare amenities.

Why this location?

The site is an existing truck stop and its location provides direct connectivity to the Port of Dover and Eurotunnel.

Will the operation of the site impact local communities?

The site is not located directly alongside residential properties. HGVs that access the site also do not pass by residential properties.

What is the capacity of the site?

The capacity of the inland border facility is up to 475 HGV spaces.

How have the proposals changed when compared to the 2019 approval?

When compared to the 2019 approval, the current proposals have evolved in a number of ways, including as follows:

  • New safety measure to allow for ‘fire breaks’ in the lengths of bays for parked vehicles
  • Provision of five additional swim lanes to facilitate processing, reduce queue lengths and minimise impact on the Strategic Road Network
  • Provision of two inspection sheds, to enable the on-site inspections of HGVs
  • Additional Driver welfare facilities have been added
  • ‘Area C’, located on the north western part of the site, has been removed from the propoasls

Will this site be needed in addition to the Sevington (Mojo) site?

The Sevington and Waterbrook sites are in use as inland border facilities sites at the same time on a limited basis for a temporary period of two months from 1 January 2021 until the end of February 2021.

How many staff are expected on site?

Approximately 120 full time staff attend the site in shift patterns. Parking provision and welfare facilities are provided for staff onsite.

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

The inland border facility is used by HGVs, cars and vans, including staff vehicles.

Are refrigerated vehicles expected at the inland border facility?

Provision has been made for refrigerated vehicles. No idling is by refrigerated vehicles as engines of all stationary vehicles must be switched off while on site.

Will vehicles be inspected at the inland border facility?

There are inspection bays on site and the time required for each HGV check (excluding physical inspection) is a maximum of two hours. If a physical examination is required, an inspection may take up to eight hours.

Will goods be unloaded at the inland border facility?

There are examination facilities on site and some goods that are brought to the site will need a physical examination.

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

An Operational Management Plan (OMP) is in place and sets out how the site will be managed and operated safely, including in relation to any hazardous materials.