Public consultation into vast rail depot near Northampton is extended by three weeks

One of the artist's impressions used in the consultation.
One of the artist's impressions used in the consultation.

Residents in Northamptonshire will have further time to take part in the ongoing consultation on Rail Central, the proposed new strategic rail freight interchange near Northampton.  The Phase One community consultation period now extends until Friday 21 October.

The rail depot is proposed for land between Milton Malsor and Blisworth and many villagers are opposed to it.

The Phase One community consultation was due to end on September 30 but the period will now extend until Friday, October 21.

A spokesman for developers Ashfield Land: "We've done this in response to requests for additional time to view our more recent materials and so that people wanting to provide feedback have more time for sending in their comments."

Supplementary information and artists impressions were published in August, including a photograph that villagers complained was taken from an angle intended to obscure the overlaid 27-foot high crane behind some trees.

Rail Central is a proposed major new logistics and distribution hub between Milton Malsor and Blisworth that would effectively join the latter to Northampton.

Subject to permission being granted to build Rail Central, the earliest potential start of construction would be in 2019.

Residents of both villages and environment minister Andrea Leadsom are concerned about the loss of eight million square feet of rural land, with some houses set to be in the middle of a vast industrial estate.

Ashfield Land said the project could create 8,000 jobs.

The developer launched the Phase One consultation in April and held a series of public exhibitions, inviting people and the community to provide feedback on the draft plans that could support the ongoing design process.

Feedback can be provided online at the project website, www.railcentral.com, or in writing (by email or letter) to Rail Central by the new deadline.

Phase Two consultation – at which more detailed information will be presented for consultation and feedback – is scheduled for early 2017.

Following the completion of Phase Two consultation and all technical work, a Development Consent Order (DCO) application is scheduled to be made in summer 2017.