Transport firm Maritime wants to level the Alconbury Services lorry park and turn it into a “staging post” for its own fleet of trucks and the containers it carries.

The firm has applied to demolish the motel, services area and petrol filling station on the site, which sits near the former Alconbury airfield and the A14, and replace them with a new lorry park, container storage area, an office, car parking and lighting.

Containers would be stacked up to five high, according to documents submitted with the firm's planning application to Huntingdonshire District Council.

The site used to operate as a truck stop, attracting up to 185 vehicles at a time during peak periods - including lorries from Maritime's fleet - and the firm says there will be fewer vehicles using the park if the scheme goes through.

Maritime Transport, which started as a container haulage business, has expended into one of the UK's biggest logistics businesses over the last 16 years, operating 35 sites across the country.

A report submitted with the planning application said: "Maritime acquired the site in March 2016 as many of their lorries were using the site and operated it as a truck stop. They closed the site to third parties in March 2017.

"The motel, which was not being used in association with the lorry parking, had fallen into disrepair and disrepute and was closed. Maritime continues to operate the petrol filling station but it attracts little trade and is not economically viable."

The site, which would operate 24 hours a day, would see a reduction in lorry parking places from 185 to 105 and there would be 121 car parking places for lorry drivers and site staff.

At present 116 staff work at the depot, up from 70 when Maritime started its operation there, and could rise to 170 or more.

The report to planners said: "As part of the drive to logistics efficiency, Maritime will use the site as a container interchange.

"For example, a truck heading south will interchange a southbound container at Alconbury and return to the north with a northbound container and vice versa"

It added: "Where a container can't be matched with a truck, it will be temporarily stored until a truck is available to complete the move."