Northampton Gateway Rail Freight Interchange

Enquiry received via email

Northampton Gateway Rail Freight Interchange

24 May 2018
Tommy Gilchrist


Local residents have asked if they might be able to meet with PINS (presumably you as Case Officer) to discuss the process, and in particular the cumulative impact of both proposals, and how that is taken into account. They very much are aware that it would be inappropriate to comment on the merits of either proposal, but they are wanting to understand how the application are approached, and at what point do cumulative impact assessments become required? Let me know if a meeting would be something PINS could do, as I know it would reassure residents to understand more fully. I presume that you may have had similar meetings with representatives from the developers on points of process?

Advice given

We note in your correspondence, your request for the Planning Inspectorate (PINS) to meet with local residents to discuss matters of process regarding the Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIP) and in particular to advise on cumulative impact assessments for both proposals. As you have stated in your email, we have met with both Applicants for the above proposals in our Bristol office. In addition, we have also met with the Stop Rail Central group. We have provided written advice to a large number of parties regarding these schemes and a record of the advice can be found on the project specific pages of our website under the section (s)51 advice tab.
Rail Central Proposal:
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Northampton Gateway Proposal:
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Whilst we have held meetings with the public to explain the NSIP planning process in certain instances for other proposals, we have now provided the same information in videos as part of the advice readily available on our website.
We therefore feel that the information below will sufficiently cover the advice we could provide in person and we would be grateful if you could please send this to the relevant people.
In order for members of the public to be involved in the examination of a project they must, at the appropriate time, register to become an interested party. This video provides information on how and when to register as an interested party on an application:
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We would however like to take this opportunity to respond to your queries directly and provide you with links which we trust you will find useful.
If a proposed NSIP requires an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) to be submitted as part of the application, the EIA Regulations necessitates that the Applicant undertakes an assessment of cumulative effects (amongst other matters), and considers alternatives to the proposed development. This process begins at the pre-application stage. The assessment of cumulative effects would take into account other reasonably foreseeable schemes including any other relevant NSIPs. Both developers have confirmed that their application is EIA development and therefore an Environmental Statement (including information on cumulative impacts) will need to be submitted as part of their application.
It would be for the Applicant for each scheme to make the case for, and to assess the impacts of, their proposed development taking into consideration the cumulative effects of the relevant built, consented and/or proposed developments as appropriate at the time of their application being lodged. Each application would be assessed on their individual merits, where the appointed Examining Authority (ExA) would assess the material and/or information submitted by the Applicant within their application documents submitted, including subsequent submissions where for example, more information becomes available on a separate proposal included in the assessment. ).
Both Applicants, namely Roxhill Developments Limited (Northampton Gateway) and Ashfield Land Management and Gazeley GLP Northampton (Rail Central), have confirmed that they are undertaking a cumulative assessment to include the appropriate matters of the other proposal. You may have also noted that the Northampton Gateway proposal was recently submitted and PINS on behalf of the Secretary of State has until 18 June 2018 to decide whether to Accept this application for Examination.
We would encourage you to review the published meeting notes (under the s51 advice tab) for both projects (Northampton Gateway RFI and Rail Central SRFI) to have sight of discussions held between PINS and the relevant Applicant regarding their respective proposals. It is reasonable to assume that consideration by both Applicants regarding each other’s proposal and their cumulative effects will be a matter for consideration during the examination.
Useful Links
Advice Note (AN)17 provides a brief description of the legal context and obligations placed on an Applicant in respect of cumulative effects.
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The AN8 series (AN8.1 to AN8.5) provides more detailed advice on the application process and aims to take you step by step through the planning process for NSIPs.
Advice Note Eight: Overview of the nationally significant infrastructure planning process for members of the public and others
Advice Note 8.1: Responding to the developer’s pre-application consultation
Advice Note 8.2: How to register to participate in an Examination
Advice Note 8.3: Influencing how an application is Examined: the Preliminary Meeting
Advice Note 8.4: The Examination
Advice Note 8.5: The Examination: hearings and site inspections
We would encourage you to please circulate the advice provided hereto to any and/or all local residents with an interest in the abovementioned proposals, specifically drawing their attention to the video and Advice Notes recommended above as well as those published to the National Infrastructure website:
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If you have any further queries please do not hesitate to contact the relevant case teams via the email addresses provided below:
Rail Central proposal - [email protected]
Northampton Gateway proposal - [email protected]

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