'More misery to come': Campaigners prepare for next stage in fight against huge transport depot near Northampton

Campaigners will continue to fight against a proposal for a huge transport depot near Northampton after the developers announced they will be resubmitted the plans.

Friday, 25th October 2019, 10:29 am
Rail Central would occupy land between Milton Malsor and Blisworth

Ashfield Land and Gazeley have withdrawn the Rail Central plans to make changes to the application following a recommendation by the government's planning inspectorate.

Mark Redding from Stop Rail Central campaign group said: "I don't know if I'm happy or frustrated.

"It will drag on even longer as they will come back with another application and we will have to go through all of the papers again meaning a lot more pain and a lot more work."

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The Rail Central strategic rail freight interchange would be built on land adjacent to the A43 and within two miles of junction 15A of the M1 between Milton Malsor and Blisworth.

It would essentially be a huge expanse of warehouses with a connection to the railway line where the West Coast Main Line and Northampton Loop Line intersect - creating 8,000 jobs.

Stop Rail Central was set up to fight the plans four years ago, citing the land being earmarked to stay as countryside, pollution impacts and whether there is any need with a similar site near Crick.

Mr Redding said: "It's been four years of hell and it carries on. But if no one says anything then no one objects so it will sail through but we need more help."

The application was previously turned down by the planning inspectorate but then resubmitted and was accepted by the inspectorate on November 15, 2018.

But the developers asked for a delay before it was examined 'potential to improve its proposed package of highways enhancements'.

On October 9, the inspectorate wrote to the developers saying ‘the application should be withdrawn and a new application incorporating the changes should be submitted’, with a deadline of Wednesday (October 23).

A statement from the developers said: "Ashfield Land and Gazeley will now continue to progress their work on the highways mitigation package for the project.

"We intend to submit a revised application to the planning inspectorate at the earliest opportunity, following completion of the highways work, public consultation and finalisation of the application material."

Mr Redding called on all of the councils and MPs representing residents affected by the project to get behind their campaign as he believed they would have more weight with the planning inspectorate.

"This will have such a detrimental impact on the community, services and traffic if it is approved so we need to fight it - but there is more misery to come."