Residents fear a second rail depot near Northampton is planned for adjoining land

Another huge rail depot is being planned just metres from the site where a controversial - and very similar - development could be built, just south of Northampton.

Tuesday, 2nd August 2016, 6:00 am

But it has emerged the new depot - at junction 15 of the M1 - could block the Rail Central plan that has distressed and angered villagers in Milton Malsor and Blisworth.

The newer proposals are for five million square foot of warehouses south of Collingtree, between the Northampton loop rail line and the M1.

Planning consultants for the developer - Roxhill - said the new plan is very similar to Rail Central’s and would be decided at a national level in the same way.

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But they also consider the two plans to be mutually exclusive.

Ben Holmes, of Oxalis Planning, said: “You can’t have both, because of the impact on the environment but also in terms of what the market can sustain.”

Andrea Leadsom - the Secretary of State for the Environment and MP for South Northamptonshire - acknowledged the Junction 15 site differed by having no homes in its path, but she does not believe residents would therefore give it an easy ride.

She said: “There are again many questions to be answered - over the number of HGVs that will serve the site and whether a rail interchange is actually needed.

“The pressure on the remaining green space around Northampton is enormous.

“We have also taken masses of new developments, we are at breaking point for infrastructure and it’s not in an ideal place.”

Howdens had an application for part of the same site - and by the same developers - rejected last year. It means that much of the surveys needed are complete and developers are not starting from scratch.

However, the new plan could include a bypass around Roade and access improvements to junction 15.

A public consultation will have to be held and will take place before the end of the year.