Consultation on rail depot plans extends to additional Northamptonshire town

A map showing both rail depot proposals
A map showing both rail depot proposals

A planning committee has recommended that an additional public exhibition on the proposals for the strategic rail freight interchange (SRFI) be held in a Northamptonshire town.

People in Towcester will be asked for their views on the plans as well as residents of Collingtree, Milton Malsor, Blisworth and Roade, who will be directly affected by virtue of the depot being proposed on the land between the villages.

The proposal, known as The Northampton Gateway SRFI, would comprise: a rail freight terminal with rail sidings, a gantry crane and container storage area, up to 468,000sq metres of associated warehousing with vehicle access via the A508, proposed highway works including a reconfiguration of junction 15 of the M1 and a new A508 bypass for Roade.

Submitted by Roxhill Ltd, the proposal is separate from a similar one submitted by Ashfield Land Management for another rail freight terminal, known as Rail Central SRFI, on adjoining land at Arm Farm between Milton Malsor and Blisworth.

On August 3 South Northamptonshire Council’s (SNC) Planning Committee recommended that an additional public exhibition be held in Towcester during the consultation period, that the Statement of Community Consultation (SoCC) be revised to include details of this event, and that matters covered in the consultation should be set out more clearly.

Cllr Roger Clarke, SNC’s portfolio holder for planning and environment said: “As with the proposed Rail Central SRFI we think it is vital all those who might be affected to have a fair opportunity to view the proposals for the Northampton Gateway SRFI and have their views recorded.”

The statutory consultation will run for six weeks from Monday, October 2, 2017 until Monday, November 13, 2017.

During this time, consultation documents describing the proposal will be available for the public to view at libraries in Roade, Wootton, Hunsbury and at The Forum in Towcester, as well as the offices of Northampton Borough Council and Northamptonshire County Council.

Public exhibitions are provisionally proposed to be held in the following locations:

- Hilton Hotel, Collingtree – Monday, October 9, 1.30pm to 7.30pm

- The Royal Oak pub, Blisworth, - Wednesday, October 11, 1.30pm to 7.30pm

- Milton Malsor Village Hall, Friday, October 13, 2pm to 7-30pm

- Roade Primary School – Saturday, October 14, 12 noon to 5pm

A summary document is to be delivered by the applicant to all households and businesses within the consultation area, with key details of the proposed development and information on how individuals can make representations.

As nationally significant infrastructure projects (NSIP) these proposals will be examined by the Planning Inspectorate and decided by the Secretary of State with SNC acting only as a statutory consultee.