Farmers and landowners with land close to major roads are set to benefit from recently announced changes in policy for the development of truck stops.

A Government consultation identified strong support for the development of secure truck stops from a number of organisations including the Transport Police, the Highways Agency, insurers and the haulage industry as current demand for lorry parking far outstrips supply.

This could provide farmers with a diversification opportunity to earn additional income.

Stephen Rice, partner at agents Fisher German in Banbury, believes farmers and land owners who own land next to motorway junctions and major trunk roads are ideally placed to provide secure parking facilities.

He said: “With the proposed change in policy and directions from central government, local planning authorities will have to take a more positive and pragmatic view regarding proposals for secure lorry parking facilities.

At present lorries are forced to park overnight in lay-bys and industrial estates, where there is no access to facilities and drivers and their loads are at risk of being targeted by criminal gangs.

“The operation of a secure lorry parking facility is extremely straightforward and is something many farmers and land owners would be able to manage themselves as an ancillary business.

“Alternatively, there are existing truck stop operators who are also looking for new sites for which they would either take a lease or enter into a joint venture arrangement.

“We are currently working on a number of such schemes and have identified areas within the Midlands and South East where there is a significant demand with very few facilities currently provided.”

n Anyone who thinks they may have suitable land or facilities should contact Mr Rice on 01295 271555., or e-mail providing details of the address and location of the land in question with a copy of a plan if possible.