MP seeking meeting with minister over huge rail freight depot planned for near Northampton

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An MP said she is seeking an urgent meeting with a rail minister over the potential impact Rail Central would have on Northamptonshire’s countryside.

Andrea Leadsom, the member for South Northamptonshire, into which Blisworth falls, said she has been contacted by many constituents, some of whom she will meet today.

And she admitted she had been as surprised as they were to hear about the plans and is urgently seeking clarification from rail minister Claire Perry, or her equivalent.

Mrs Leadsom said she would specifically ask what can be done to fight the plan.

She said: “It’s a huge issue and will have quite a significant impact, potentially enormous.

“It is really important to me.

“The starting point for me is that nobody wants an industrial development that joins two villages.

“If the local people don’t want this, can we resist it or mitigate it.

“If it is clear we have no chance of winning, I would then want to know is there something in this project for the local area.”

Mrs Leadsom says she will look at whether areas of ‘buffer’ land can at least be inserted between the village and the Rail Central boundary.

Her list of questions will also address why the eight million sq ft project has to be in the spot proposed.

So far Ashfield Land has said the confluence of two rail routes and the M1 make it ideal.

But villagers at this week’s public meeting questioned whether the main advantage to the company was that it had managed to accrue, or negotiate options on, much of the land needed.