Portsmouth City Council builds Border Control Post without planning permission in post-Brexit deadline rush

CGI of the Border Control Post. Picture: Portsmouth City Council/Kier constructionCGI of the Border Control Post. Picture: Portsmouth City Council/Kier construction
CGI of the Border Control Post. Picture: Portsmouth City Council/Kier construction
RETROSPECTIVE planning permission for the new border control point at Portsmouth Port is being sought from Portsmouth City Council.

The facility was built just off the M275 earlier this year in preparation for the introduction of post-Brexit customs assessments, with plant and animal checks due to come into force on January 1 next year.

A statement, written by planning agent Savills and submitted with the the port's application, says the council should ‘be granted consent as swiftly as possible’ ahead of this deadline.

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The 3,500 square metre border control point building, which includes chilled storage and inspection facilities, has already been built on port-owned land off the M275.

It will be used to carry out checks of all plant and animal, including live animals, products entering the port from when these post-Brexit checks.

These will follow the introduction of new sanitary and veterinary import assessments, the first of which are required to be in place in October, through a new system of export health certificates.

‘Ports must have new infrastructure in place by January 1, 2022 to meet the government’s border operating model,’ a statement submitted with the retrospective planning application says.

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‘To ensure compliance, Portsmouth International Port requires additional infrastructure and facilities to enable customs and bio-security checks to be carried out. A new [border control point] within the port is proposed as a result.’

Included within it is the provision of nine chilled stores for carrying out the required checks, three assessment areas and an area for inspecting lorries.

Savills said the 'utilitarian' building fits in with its surroundings and that the amount of extra traffic it would create would be 'limited' due to its location within the port.

'The statutory and economic rationale for the proposed development and the necessity to secure planning consent for the BCP as quickly as possible is clear,’ it says.

‘We would therefore request that this application be granted consent as swiftly as possible.'

The application will be considered by planning officers in the coming weeks.