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 05 July 2018
From Louise Wright

Representation

As a local resident of Stoke Bruerne village I strongly object to the proposed plans by Roxhill Developments Ltd for the following reasons:

CONFLICT WITH PLANNING POLICY

The agreed Strategic Plan for the region, specifically excludes industrial development at this location. A previous application by Roxhill for a 2.67m sq ft Distribution Centre was withdrawn after widespread opposition.

BY PASSING LOCAL DEMOCRACY

Roxhill argue that the inclusion of a rail link to the Northampton Loop line allows this proposal to be decided by central government as 'Nationally Significant Infrastructure' rather than by the locally accountable planning process. Local residents and businesses should be allowed to voice protest over this proposed plan.


HUGE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT

Residential areas surrounding the proposed site are already exposed to high levels of air, noise and light pollution that are already above legal limits. Some of this has been partly mitigated by dispersion over open countryside close by, however Roxhill's proposal will destroy this 'green lung' as well as the wildlife habitat it provides.


TRAFFIC OVERLOAD

The existing traffic congestion on the M1, A45 and A508, is self evident and increases 'rat running' through residential roads and surrounding villages. The number of (diesel) HGV's needed to service 5 million sq ft of warehousing will be enormous. Roxhill claim that 6,000 people will work at the site. Because of low unemployment in this region, the workforce would be drawn from a wide area and are likely to travel by car. Roxhill have promised to fund improvements to Junction 15 but the changes proposed in their earlier (and smaller) planning application, were judged by planners as unlikely to add to overall capacity.


LACK OF STRATEGIC 'NEED'

Industry experts say that a Rail Interchange is not needed in this location because the DIRFT facility is only 18 miles further north and has expansion capacity for the next 20 years. In addition, the likely occupiers would be yet more road freight warehouse operators moving to be nearer to the M1. This would be completely against government objectives and an unintended consequence of an unclear policy on locating Rail Freight Interchanges.

Is it really in the 'national interest' to wipe out hundreds of acres of
productive farmland and wildlife habitat, and create yet more traffic congestion
and pollution on an already overstretched road network?

On a personal level I am concerned for my village and value of my home given the knock on effect this could have on communities in Roade.