Council is ‘deeply concerned’ about plan for EU border post in Pembrokeshire village
A community council has said it is “deeply concerned” about a plan to build an EU border post in a Pembrokeshire village
The Welsh Government has said it is considering Johnston as a potential site for a BCP (Border Control Post), while Pembrokeshire County Council has said it is an area is of “interest”.
The county of Pembrokeshire backed Brexit by 57.1% to 42.9% at the EU referendum.
Johnston Community Council clerk Peter Horton has hit out at the proposal, and complained that no “formal contact” has been received about the matter.
He also said the proposed site was “unsuitable” and suggested that it could have a “potentially detrimental effect”.
According to the Welsh Government, Johnston is one of a “range” of locations being considered for a border post that would “support” Pembroke Dock and Fishguard ports with goods coming in from the Republic of Ireland.
Peter Horton said: “Many local residents have contacted Johnston Community Council expressing concern over rumours of plans by the Welsh Government to construct a lorry park or similar installation in Johnston.
“Johnston Community Council has received no formal contact regarding this matter, and has not seen any plans or documentation regarding the proposals.
“However, following contact made with Welsh Government officers by Councillor Ken Rowlands, we have received an informal message with some basic information.
“The Welsh Government is contemplating the need for a Border Control Post (B.C.P.) to inspect the contents of certain types of goods coming into Fishguard and Pembroke Dock from the Republic of Ireland.
“Due to lack of suitable land in the immediate vicinity of either port, consideration is being given to constructing a facility inland, possibly in Johnston.
“The Community Council is deeply concerned about the possible plans to construct such facilities in Johnston.
“It considers the location to be unsuitable, due to the impact on the already over-congested highway network through the Village, and the potentially detrimental effect of a 24 hour a day facility on nearby residential properties.
‘More suitable sites’
“It considers that, rather than diverting vehicles away from their normal routes, other more suitable sites should be considered along the existing routes of vehicles travelling from Fishguard and Pembroke Dock towards other parts of the U.K.
“Please be assured that Johnston Community Council will continue to work to achieve a satisfactory solution to this issue for the benefit of all Johnston residents.”
Welsh Government spokesperson told the Western Telegraph that a decision has yet to be finalised: “We are considering a range of sites to accommodate a Border Control Post in south west Wales to support Pembroke Dock and Fishguard ports. This includes the Johnston area.
“No decisions have been made on its location and no decisions will be taken until we have had the opportunity to discuss proposals with stakeholders and local communities.”
A Pembrokeshire County Council spokesperson also confirmed Johnston is one of the areas being considered for a border post.
“We understand the Welsh Government has committed to supporting the development of required facilities and have been undertaking an extensive search for sites across the locality to provide a joint facility to serve both ports.
“Sites near Johnston are understood to be a location of interest, but work is still in the early stages.”
Plans for an HGV tanker park at Pembroke Dock, which would have space for 17 oil tankers and 18 cars, are being recommended for approval by Pembrokeshire County Council officers.