Northampton Gateway Rail Freight Interchange

The views expressed in this page do not represent those of the Planning Inspectorate. This page consists of content submitted to the Planning Inspectorate by the public and other interested parties, giving their views of this proposal.

Northampton Gateway Rail Freight Interchange

Received 02 July 2018
From Mr Simon Jones


I strongly object to this application because The West Northamptonshire Joint Core Strategy (WNJCS) completed, found to be sound by PINS and formally adopted in 2014 specifically rejected a request from a developer (Ashfield Land) to include provision for a SRFI. The strategy states that new rail freight interchanges are not deliverable within the plan period and that major new industrial development should be focussed on three sites ie. Silverstone DIRFT and around the M1 junction 16.

There is sufficient future capacity at DIRFT along with Midlands Gateway such that very little interchange of rail freight will take place at Northampton Gateway. If this is the case then what would differentiate the proposed site from a 'regular interchange park? The suggestion of a SRFI terminal is disingenuous paying lip service to the idea of providing Strategic National Importance simply in order to bypass local planning and make good on their investment. This is short-term thinking that ultimately costs the country in the long run.

I would add that recent reports confirm a decrease in the use of Rail Freight by 20% down to 0.4% growth from predictions of 5% increase year on year.

The local road network is totally inadequate to deal with the anticipated increased volume of traffic, not only from HGVs but also from those supposed new employees (that don't live in the area) using the site on a daily (24 hour) basis.

The major benefit of local job creation is overplayed in an area of low unemployment and that the anticipated workforce will mostly commute from other areas further increasing the pressure on the local road networks. There will be negligible, if any, benefit to the local communities affected. Furthermore, the Joint Core Strategy (JCS) provides for a careful balance between jobs and housing. Unemployment is presently at only 1% to 2% and the JCS states that only 3 ‘strategic employment sites’ – at M1 Junction 16; Silverstone Circuit and DIRFT are needed.

The operation will create unacceptable light, air and noise pollution blighting the lives of at least two rural communities and endangering their health and well-being for everyone. 8. The cumulative adverse impact of 24/7 noise, light and air pollution will be considerable for residents of many local villages. The additional daily HGV trips each day will add to the already critical levels of nitrous oxide and particulate pollution around the M1 (an AQMA). The Northamptonshire “Parishes Against Pollution” group (29 parishes) have combined to fight this threat to residents health.

There are several local footpaths and bridleways that will suffer from diversions that are both considerably less convenient but also far less attractive due to the loss of countryside views. They will also suffer from increased noise and air pollution when compared to the existing routes.

A major concern of local residents is the proposal to make the Courteenhall Rd. junction on the A508 left in left out only. This will cause considerable inconvenience locally and add to the current traffic problems on Stoke Rd. in Blisworth