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 30 November 2018
From Barbara King

Representation

object very strongly to the proposals for the construction of Rail Central, which will swallow up the open countryside and farmland between the rural Northamptonshire villages of Blisworth and Milton Malsor, where I live. Hearing about the Rail Central proposals, and living with the shadow looming over us for the past 2 years has upset me greatly.
I live in the conservation area at the edge of Milton Malsor village, with countryside walks on the door-step, with an abundance of wildlife, including owls, woodpeckers, jays as well as mammals, which will disappear. That countryside, if Rail Central goes ahead, will disappear under hundreds of acres of concrete covered with huge unsightly warehouses, following years of mess, noise and disruption during its construction and that of the surrounding road proposals. Once the countryside has been swallowed up in this way, there will be no going back. Since living here, the natural environment – which is now put at risk by this proposal – has done much to enhance my well-being and that of my family and friends. There is increasing evidence that having access to the natural environment (natural capital) has a significant positive impact on people’s well-being. My concern rests with the impact this will have on our way of life – we will no longer be able to enjoy the countryside enjoy walks at evenings or weekends to visit our friends in Blisworth, or to access the towpaths of the peaceful nearby Grand Union Canal.
Besides what we stand to lose, I am also concerned about what we will get in its place – air, noise and night pollution around the clock, with greatly increased HGV and works traffic. Despite the plans as set out, there is no doubt in my mind that the current peace of the villages will be swept away, with significantly increased traffic through them, and vehicles hanging around in the area waiting for their slot at the facility. Much of this proposal will be in direct conflict with the objectives set out in the Government’s recent 25 year environment plan, including targets to enhance beauty, heritage and engagement with the natural environment; increasing future flood risk; and destroying rather than increasing woodland.
Besides the detrimental effects outlines above, I fail to understand the need that it will address. There is ample current and future provision for rail freight in the Midlands, including Roxhill’s adjacent proposal for the Northampton Gateway, with no indication of demand for these facilities. There is also no local unemployment to speak of, so the development would attract large numbers of workers from afar, increasing NO2 emissions in the area. The proposal appears to me to be a cynical and speculative approach by the developers to take advantage of the NSIP process for a site which would largely operate as a logistics park, with limited use as an interchange.