Five per cent of public in favour of huge rail depot near Northampton

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Plans for a huge rail depot near Northampton have so far been supported by five per cent of visitors to a public consultation event.

The eight million square foot site between, Blisworth and Milton Malsor, would create 8,000 jobs, developers Ashfield Land claim.

But the first in a series of eight consultation events, at the Walnut Tree Inn in Blisworth, saw only 8 out of 142 people who gave their views to Stop Rail Central campaigners say it was a good idea.

Objections ranged from the wiping out of views across open fields to added traffic on the A43 and the lack of demand for logistics jobs in South Northamptonshire.

Mark Redding, of Stop Rail Central said there was a general feeling of anti-climax as many specific questions could not be answered.

He said: “Very basic details which determine the viability of this development such as available rail capacity and the ability of the road network to deal with the extra traffic are still not in the public domain.

“Landscaping consultants were asking the community how best they can make this massive development palatable by building mounds and planting trees without even giving them an idea of what they are trying to screen.”

The developer said a total of 200 people visited the Walnut Tree exhibition.​

Claire Cope, from Ashfield Land said: “Through feedback on specific topics like landscaping, access & transport, and overall design, we hope to hear more from the community so we can balance national need with local impact and make the overall plans for Rail Central the best they can be.”​