Register of advice

The list below is a record of advice the Planning Inspectorate has provided in respect of the Planning Act 2008 process.

There is a statutory duty under section 51 of the Planning Act 2008 to record the advice that is given in relation to an application or a potential application and to make this publicly available. Advice we have provided is recorded below together with the name of the person or organisation who asked for the advice and the project it relates to. The privacy of any other personal information will be protected in accordance with our Information Charter which you should view before sending information to the Planning Inspectorate.

Note that after a project page has been created for a particular application, any advice provided that relates to it will also be published under the ‘s51 advice’ tab on the relevant project page.

Advice given between between 1 October 2009 and 14 April 2015 has been archived. View the archived advice.

Enquiry received via email

Northampton Gateway Rail Freight Interchange View all advice for this project

12 September 2018
The Rt Hon Andrea Leadsom MP


I enclose a copy of a meeting note from a project update meeting between the Planning Inspectorate and Ashfield Land, regarding their ongoing proposal for the Rail Central strategic rail freight interchange in my South Northamptonshire constituency
As you will note:
The Inspectorate advised that it would be helpful to see NR’s response to the Applicant’s statutory consultation (which ended on 23/04/18) and enquired whether NR had commented on the rail network’s capacity to accommodate both SRFI proposals. Whilst the Applicant confirmed that it had not, it was satisfied that its own negotiations with NR were progressing well. The Applicant explained that extensive engagement has taken place with Network Rail through their GRIP process over the last 5 years, involving a designated sponsor supported by a NR project team comprising of in-house and outsourced technical specialists. This engagement with NR has informed the design and rail infrastructure and main line connections and the completed work undertaken at GRIP stage 2 has validated the technical and operational feasibility of the proposals. A Statement of Common Ground is at an advanced stage of drafting in order that this can be included within the DCO application.
The Inspectorate noted that two Examinations running simultaneously was likely to put some strain on NR’s resources. The Inspectorate requested that the Applicant provide the contact details for NR in order for the Inspectorate to have an unbiased discussion with NR about the two schemes. The Inspectorate also noted that the examination of both schemes would involve the same Local Authorities (LAs) and other stakeholders and highlighted that the examination of just one proposal can put a strain on the resources of these persons/organisations.
Can I ask for your comments on the above points, particularly whether you have received the information requested from Ashfield Land, and if PINS is satisfied that the rail network could accommodate both SRFI proposals.

Advice given

Thank you for your letter received on 29 August 2018 regarding the above proposal and the Planning Inspectorate’s meeting with Ashfield Land Management Limited and Gazeley GLP Northampton (the Developer) on 25 May 2018.
In your letter you asked if the Planning Inspectorate is satisfied that the rail network could accommodate both the Rail Central and Northampton Gateway SRFI proposals. This is a matter which is likely to be raised and considered during the examination stages of the Planning Act 2008 process for each of the proposals.
It will be for the relevant appointed Examining Authorities to examine the applications to which they are (or will be) appointed, and to make their recommendations on the decisions to the Secretary of State for Transport. It is then ultimately for the Secretary of State to decide whether development consent can be granted for each scheme.
As you will be aware, the Northampton Gateway SRFI application was submitted by Roxhill (Junction 15) Limited in May 2018; the Examining Authority has been appointed and the examination will commence following the Preliminary Meeting which is due to take place on 9 October 2018. We are expecting to receive the application for the Rail Central SRFI proposal in mid-September 2018.
I can confirm that the Rail Central Developer provided us with the contact details for the relevant Network Rail sponsor and we held a telecon meeting with Network Rail on 11 September 2018 to discuss the Planning Act 2008 process. The Developer answered our question in relation to Network Rail’s consultation response during the meeting on 25 May 2018, and following the meeting they provided us with the link to South Northamptonshire Council’s Officer Report in response to the Rail Central pre-application consultation, which is available on the Council’s website.
I hope you find this information to be helpful.