Rail Central (Strategic 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.

Rail Central (Strategic Rail Freight Interchange)

Received 01 December 2018
From C.P. Eads


My objections relating to the proposed Northampton Rail Central Rail Freight Terminal are as follows:

01. Increased pollution coming from Heavy Goods Vehicles in a rural area that is already experiencing high and action levels of vehicle pollution emanating from the adjacent road networks ie, the M1 Motorway at junction 15, 15A and the A43/A45/A508 trunk roads.

02. Increased road congestion on the already overpopulated and congested M1 motorway and adjacent trunk roads A43/A45. Any road traffic incident that occurs on these roads (a regular occurrence) results in these and all other routes including minor roads in the area becoming gridlocked. Additional HGV traffic and other vehicles needing to enter the site would merely create further and more serious incidents of this type.

03. Light and Noise pollution from the site will have an adverse effect on the adjacent historic rural village settlements, in particular Blisworth and Milton Malsor. There are conservation areas within some of these settlements.

04. There is considerable doubt on my part and amongst the communities affected and from expert opinion whether there is actually a need for a rail freight terminal in this location, given that the nearby Daventry International Rail Freight Terminal is currently operating well below its capacity.
In addition there is a view that the existing rail infrastructure would be unable to provide the necessary capacity for such a terminal.

05. There is also a strong suspicion within the communities affected that the inclusion of a rail freight terminal element for this proposed development is merely a vehicle to enable large scale warehousing on the site served exclusively by ingress and egress of heavy goods vehicles from the already overcrowded road network. There are I gather examples in other locations in the country where this has occurred and the rail freight element has not come to fruition.
Without the rail freight element any application would be expected to fail as it would not then comply with government policy of removing heavy goods from road to rail.
I would therefore suggest that any warehousing development on this site should only be considered if there is an unequivocal commitment on the developers part to a ring fenced guarantee for the inclusion of a fully operating rail freight terminal element that will comply with the government policy.

06. The residents of the rural settlements mentioned above chose to live in rural village locations and not within or on the cusp of a massive industrial site, where noise light and vehicle pollution would become the norm.

07. This whole flawed proposal is already having a negative effect on the residents health and well-being. If the scheme were to proceed that negative effect on those residents would be greatly increased.

08. There does not seem to be any “joined up thinking” regarding these speculative developments. Local Planners have recently given the go-ahead for a huge 870,000 sq.ft warehouse development adjacent to Junction 16 of the M1 Motorway [Redacted] Will this approved development be taken into account when deliberating on the Rail Central application?