SOS barn dance raises thousands of pounds to fight giant lorry park near Hythe

Contributed by editor on Feb 07, 2017 - 11:15 AM

Kent’s Saving the Garden of England Barn Dance has raised £7,000 towards the legal challenge in June to stop the world’s largest £250m lorry park from being built.



The park would take up 250 acres of the Garden of England at Stanford near Hythe.

Over 320 people attended the SOSKent ‘Saving the Garden of England Barn Dance’ on Saturday 4th February held at Westenhanger Castle where auction lots such as Janet Street-Porter’s Louis Vuitton bag, signed books by Julian Clary and Paul O’Grady, together with ticket and raffle sales raised a combined total of £7,000.

The latest fundraising effort brings the total raised to date at £28,550 which also includes a generous donation of £5k from a local business.


A big turnout to support the legal challenge


It leaves just £6,450 to reach the amount of £35k needed for the judicial review launched against the Department of Transport.


The judge in the case has ruled that no work can start on the scheme ahead of the hearing which takes place on 27th and 28th June this year, by which time, it will have been almost two years since Operation Stack was last used.

The lorry park, almost twice the size of Disneyland, and costing £250 million, is planned to be built over prime arable land between the villages of Stanford and Sellindge, in bid to fix the problems caused by Operation Stack.


As well as costing £250m to build, the lorry park’s operating costs just to ‘sit empty’, is estimated to be around £3-4m, similar to that of Manston airport which has been on standby and continues to be so until the end of 2017.


Operation Stack hasn’t been in place since 4th August 2015.

Alison Morris, one of the organisers of the Saturday’s event said: "It was truly amazing to see so many people come together, enjoying themselves and really getting behind the campaign, fighting to save the Garden of England.


"We have put a tremendous amount of work in to the evening, including building sets, scenery and props to make the event a great experience as well as raise money and it’s wonderful to see so many like-minded people get together in such a fantastic community spirit”.


The popular auction


The evening included a scarecrow competition; traditional games for children, live band Rejigged; raffle and 28 auction lots of a multi-platinum award disc of The Lighthouse Family, a flight in a Tiger Moth, a hot air balloon flight, a vineyard tour, handmade silver jewellery and more.


Photo top of page: Raising lots of money!

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