Dover IBF Facility Cancelled - Lib Dems Accuse Tory Government of Monumental Incompetence

Dover and Deal Liberal Democrats 
Accuse Tory Government of Monumental Incompetence over Dover Inland Border Facility

Dover and Deal Liberal Democrats are accusing the Government and HMRC of monumental incompetence over the latest announcement to scrap plans for the construction of the Dover Internal Border Facility, work on which began just two months ago in April promising 400 jobs.

“The whole saga is a litany of incompetence and knee-jerk planning”, says Penelope James, chair of the local Liberal Democrat party. “The Conservative Government had four years to prepare for border checks, did nothing and then came up with this ill-thought-out development. Worse still there was virtually no consultation with the local community at the time who could have told them that the proposed development at Whitecliffs Business Park / Guston was in the wrong place.

“While we welcome the fact that the proposed facility is no longer to go ahead there are many crucial questions to be answered not least how much has this whole fiasco cost the taxpayer in terms of hundreds or wasted civil service hours, land purchase costs, legal fees, construction work and costs, cancellation of contract costs, the returning of the land to its original state as promised by HMRC and more?”


“Of course we lament the loss of the proposed 400 jobs which would have been a great boost to the District, but these jobs should have been founded on proper forward planning, not ill-thought-out projects. Once again, the Conservatives have revealed their complete incompetence, their failure to plan ahead their utter inability to be transparent with voters.”

Liberal Democrats have opposed Dover IBF development from the start when it was first presented to residents in Guston, in the most appalling way on New Year’s Eve 2020, leaving them little time to comment.

We submitted a range of objections at the time ranging from:

  • The impact the site would have on local traffic at the Duke of York, B&Q and Whitfield roundabouts, the A2, the A258 to Walmer and Deal, the A20 and rural lanes.
  • The huge negative environmental impact the development would have and challenged HMRC’s promise of a “biodiversity net gain”.
  • The employment of a Special Development Order (SDO) a mechanism originally designed strictly for national emergencies to grant temporary planning permission and  avoid proper scrutiny by Dover District Council.
  • How would such a development would enable Dover District to become carbon neutral by 2050?


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