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 14 December 2018
From Terry Larkins


I strongly object to this proposal, as a long term resident of Milton Malsor I fear that this proposed development by Ashfield Land/Gazeley in this location will reduce the area to nothing more than another industrial site, the increase in HGV traffic, the pollution, and noise generated from a 24-hour operation is totally unacceptable in a residential rural location.

Consequently I find it objectionable that the proposed Rail Freight Terminals by Ashfield Land/Gazeley are attempting to obtain a planning approval for the proposed developments via a back door application by circumventing the local planning authority for a development that is contrary to the West Northants Joint Core Strategy (WNJCS) formally adopted in December 2014.

There appears to be little need for an SRFI as this is already identified in the WNJCS, to quote – “ the Daventry International Rail Freight Terminal (DIRFT) is a 7.86 million sq ft site off junction 18 on the M1 (approx 18 miles from junction 15)”. WNJCS requires that any further SRFI development should take place at the DIRFT site” - end quote.
DIRFT - phase 3 planning permission has now been granted, this allows for additional expansion at DIRFT until 2031.

It appears that both developers Ashfield Land/Gazeley are ignoring WNJCS and the reality that additional rail freight is not required in this area, this is really all about profiteering with little or no consideration of the effect on the environment. And as I understand it the rail network has insufficient capacity for any increase in rail traffic.

I ask the question, what will the proposed Ashfield/Gazeley developments achieve that DIRFT cannot provide, there is no positive answer to the question, but I strongly object to the proposal because: -

1. The proposal will destroy hundreds of acres of local countryside and bring industry into an area that is an important gap between Town and country.
2. The site would be surrounded by high earth mounds (bunding) that would be a “blot on the landscape”
3. The destruction of wildlife where the habitat loss cannot be compensated for.
4. The loss of farmland when the country needs to produce more food rather than less.

5. Increased traffic through the village, of particular concern is the vast volume of HGV movements in and around local villages, more so when there is congestion on the M1.
6. Increased air pollution from the thousands of extra vehicles using the roads in the local area.
7. Noise created by the 24/7 operation of the rail terminal including railway shunting, the loading/unloading of containers and the operation of an aggregates terminal.
8. Light & noise pollution from night time operations.
9. All the local plans show this site being retained as farmland and open countryside not industrial development.
Bearing in mind the above, I urge that this planning application proposal be refused.