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 17 July 2018
From Peter Harvey

Representation

I object strongly to the proposed Northampton Gateway Rail Freight Interchange, because of the impact it will have upon my family and the local area.

I live in Stoke Bruerne, less than 3 miles from the proposed site, with my wife and young sons.

This proposal has the potential to significantly reduce our quality of life. Roxhill have not provided any compelling reasons in favour of their plans, so I am drawn to conclude that this is a purely speculative financial proposition that is neither in the local or national interest.

My specific objections are as follows:

Personal impact
a) Road capacity & safety
With low unemployment in the area, the 6000 people Roxhill say will work there, will inevitably be drawn from a wider area and travel by car, in addition to thousands of lorry movements.

The M1 and ‘A’ roads are plainly already congested. ‘Rat-running’ through Stoke Bruerne has increased in recent years and spikes whenever there’s an accident on the major roads.

The road alterations proposed by Roxhill offer little benefit to residents and no significant mitigation of the congestion and road safety risks that will arise to pedestrians and cyclists from thousands of additional vehicle movements.

I am unconvinced by Roxhill’s claim that lorries will not navigate local villages. As a parent I am acutely aware of the danger that speeding vehicles pose and I do not want this risk to be increased.

b) Noise and air pollution
The increase in traffic acknowledged by Roxhill and proposed 24/7 running of the site will inevitably increase these types of pollution. This will negatively affect my family’s quality of life, with vehicle fumes in particular increasing the health risk to children (who are more vulnerable) from particulates and carcinogens.

The proposal runs counter to the Government’s longstanding commitment to reduce air pollution.

c) Threat of additional development
The rural nature of Stoke Bruerne was one of the factors that drew me to the area. Roxhill’s proposal directly threatens this because the M1 represents a boundary for development in the South Northamptonshire Local Plan. If this boundary is breached it will provide a pretext to allow yet more development, fundamentally altering the character of the area.

d) Increased crime
There has been a substantial increase in recorded crime around the Daventry International Rail Freight Terminal (DIRFT) site. I do not want the risk to my family’s safety or property to be needlessly increased in the same way.

General impact
e) Strategic Need
This proposal conflicts with the agreed Strategic Plan for the region that specifically excludes industrial development at this location. Roxhill have not demonstrated any economic requirement that cannot be served by the existing and expandable DIRFT.

f) Democratic deficit
Roxhill’s argument that this proposal be decided by central Government is a clear attempt to bypass the locally accountable planning process.

g) Rail capacity
The West Coast Mainline is already at capacity and DIRFT can cater for any foreseeable expansion, so there is no benefit in Roxhill’s proposal.