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 20 December 2018
From Roade Parish Council

Representation

Roade Parish Council wish to strongly object to the proposed Rail Central strategic rail freight interchange, and wish to be regarded as an ‘Interested party’ with reference to this application.

Roads around Roade
Our villagers are very concerned that the development will exacerbate the traffic congestion around our village. The A508 north and south through the village are heavily congested, as will become the minor roads for rat-running, and we cannot see how adding thousands of vehicle movements a day can improve this in any way, with whatever mitigation the developer proposes. The M1 in both directions, and the A45 into Northampton are often at a complete standstill causing air pollution affecting resident’s health, there is no possible mitigation for this.
Daventry International Rail Freight Terminal
DIRFT is available nearby, and has proposed capacity up to 2031, and is located only 17 miles from the proposal. At the current likely rate of rail/freight interconnection it is likely to be many years more that this before rail/freight interconnection is close to capacity.
Employment and need
South Northamptonshire has one of the lowest levels of unemployment in the country, the proposed development would need to attract employees from large distances, exacerbating traffic congestion and air pollution 24 hours of the day 365 days a year.
We have never been presented with any convincing documentation that this ‘strategic’ rail development has any market here, this is just another speculative warehouse scheme.
Two sites
We are aware of an alternative scheme called Northampton Gateway, who are seeking to develop a similar scheme at junction 15 of the M1, we have seen nothing to suggest that the schemes have been properly considered with reference to the other, i.e. the cumulative effect on all aspects of the proposals.
Brownfield sites
As a village we have seen a large number of houses (500+) on brownfield sites within our Parish, and these have been accepted pragmatically within our community as a good use of the land. This speculative developer is coming forward with an application to build on the greenbelt like land around our villages, using the ‘SRFI’ label merely as a method of circumventing local democracy.
Consultation
For many many months the Parish have been providing delegates to engage in the consultation process with Rail Central. However, the consultation has been in name only, and the hours wasted by our Councillors in attending these meetings has not resulted in any meaningful changes to the proposed scheme. Our concerns regarding, pollution, traffic, need, loss of green open space, existing rail capacity and conflict with existing rail users, and the lack of consideration of possible cumulative impact remain unaddressed.