Stone Hill Park was first approached by the Department for Transport following weeks of disruption on Kent’s roads caused by Operation Stack being implemented on a number of occasions over the course of the summer of 2015.
This approach resulted in a commercial agreement being reached that would allow the former airport site to be retained as an emergency lorry park, in case of future problems affecting cross-channel traffic. This agreement is subject to review on a regular basis, most recently in November 2017.
Ray Mallon, spokesman for Stone Hill Park, said: “We were approached by the Department for Transport with a view to entering into a commercial agreement for our site to be used as an emergency lorry park.
“A significant amount was spent preparing the site for HGVs to park there, including works to the runway parking area, toilet facilities and security. We also have agreements with a number of companies to ensure we’re able to have the site ready to receive lorries within three hours of being notified.
“We have also ploughed money back into our development plans for the site.
“These plans – if granted planning consent – will deliver millions of pounds of private sector investment for Thanet that will dwarf anything we have received to date.
“In addition to new homes, our plans include three new schools; the first part of a new strategic road link to Westwood Cross; a hi-tech business park plus regionally significant sports, leisure and heritage attractions that will create jobs and boost the area’s economy.”