120 space truck stop planned for 'freight hub'
A business centre is Folkestone could be expanded to include a children’s nursery, gym and a 120 space truck stop. The Motis Business Centre, in Cheriton High Street, is run by Irish company Motis, a shipping firm which covers more than 450 freight routes in Europe.
As well as its offices in Folkestone, it runs Motis Freight Clearance and Truck Stop Facility based at Dover docks.
But with the business centre now fully occupied, the company is seeking planning permission to expand the Cheriton site. The new ‘hub for freight logistics’ will include an operations centre, a customs inspection point, a driver training facility, overflow parking for the Dover truck stop, an industrial warehouse and a driver’s lounge.
The original offices will also be extended by a further 10,000 sq ft, with the ground floor extension providing a gym, nursery and cafe, plus toilet and shower facilities, which the public will have access too.
Upstairs, more office space will be created.
Six new business units are also proposed to be built within the existing car parking area. Each unit will be a self-contained, two storey unit, with access via a roller shutter and a separate front door. The design has a mezzanine second storey, with ground floor toilet access.
Included within the lorry park and drivers lounge will be space for a dining area, kitchen, internet rooms, a reception, laundrette and toilets and shower facilities. The secure, 120 space parking facility – over a six acre site which is currently empty – will be 24 hour, providing drivers with a ‘comfortable stopping destination with access to hot food’.
The design statement for the scheme adds: “Due to the increase traffic around residential areas there has been an increase of unauthorised parking, this will be prevented with the new proposal, which will also in turn alleviate noise, nuisance, litter, and anti-social behaviour in residential areas.” Motis expects that the development would create between 125-150 additional jobs to the region.
The facility would operate under a pre-book only provision, exclusively for Motis account holders; it will not be open to the general market. A spokesman for Motis said: “The Motis Business Centre is currently fully occupied and there are currently only limited facilities available to our clients. “Therefore, we feel there is a need for expansion and further development of the site.
“It compliments our existing portfolio of products and services within the Transport Industry. “It helps to address a clear local need for additional capacity for large amounts of freight movements within the Kent corridor.” A planning application for the proposal has been submitted to Folkestone and Hythe District Council, and a decision could be made as early as next month.
Search application 20/2085/FH on FHDC’s planning portal. No comments from the public have yet to be submitted on the plans. To see more public notices, visit kentonline.co.uk/advertise/public-notices/