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 13 July 2018
From Cecil Bottomley


1. Due to the large DIRFT facility just 18 miles north of J15, there is no strategic need for Northampton Gateway.

2. This proposed massive development is expected to create around 7,000 jobs. Yet, Northampton and the surrounding smaller towns and villages already suffer from a severe labour shortage. This means that the Gateway would be drawing in workers from a very wide area indeed, causing local traffic congestion and pressure from developers for a further expansion of Roade and surrounding villages.

3. At present the M1 motorway provides an essential and clear division, a ‘green belt’ between town and country, thus preventing the urban sprawl that degrades much of our environment today. The proposed warehouses, as well as being huge blots on the landscape, would break that essential division.

4. The huge number of traffic movements on the site would create both noise and air pollution 24/7 in the nearby village of Roade and other villages nearby, causing stress and ill-health to the residents.

5. One of the attractions of Roade is that a resident can quickly reach footpaths and bridleways in the attractive countryside that surrounds the village, a significant part of which would be lost.

6. Because of the size of the interchange and associated infrastructure some 520 acres of productive farmland would go under concrete.

7. The proposed bypass, whilst taking traffic out of the village itself, may, in fact, increase the traffic using the ‘new’ A508. Thus moving the pollution but having the effect of increasing it overall – this time near the village outskirts.

8. With the building of a by-pass creating a new ‘boundary’ on one side of the village developers would inevitably press for infill between bypass and village. Should a bypass go ahead then the infill land should permanently be freely ceded to the Parish Council for quiet open space.

9. There is much talk these days of a “northern power house” to create much needed jobs in that region. England is a very small country, and distance is not a problem in terms of speed of goods movement. There is therefore no reason why the planned Gateway cannot be sited near where jobs are in short supply.