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Proposed Strategic Rail Freight Interchanges south of Northampton

Volume 666: debated on Monday 14 October 2019

The petition of Residents of the constituencies of South Northamptonshire and Daventry,

Declares that the sites for the two proposed Strategic Rail Freight Interchanges between the villages of Blisworth, Milton Malsor, Collingtree and Roade in Northamptonshire, either side of the Northampton Loop Line as it branches from the West Coast Main Line to the south of Northampton, to be unsuitable; notes that the West Northamptonshire Joint Core Strategy has previously excluded these sites from industrial development; further that the local road network, including the M1, A43, A45, A5, and A508, is operating at or above capacity, and that development at the proposed sites would exacerbate existing problems of traffic, air pollution, and noise, and impose additional visual blight; further it has not been demonstrated by the developers or Network Rail that there is the existing capacity on the West Coast Main Line to provide requisite freight paths for either and/or both of the sites; further that the existing Strategic Rail Freight Interchange, Daventry International Rail Freight Terminal, which is coterminous in catchment with the two proposed sites, has recently expanded and has extensive unused capacity; and further that two local petitions on behalf of Stop Rail Central and Stop Roxhill Northampton Gateway against the two proposed Strategic Rail Freight Interchanges have received over 17,500 signatures and the overwhelming view of the local community is that neither proposal is acceptable.

The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to press upon the Secretary of State for Transport the great many concerns that residents of the constituencies of South Northamptonshire and Daventry have about the two proposed Strategic Rail Freight Interchanges, and to not grant Development Consent Orders for either proposal.

And the petitioners remain, etc.—[Official Report, 3 September 2019; Vol. 664, c. 1P.]


Observations from the Under-Secretary of State for Transport (Paul Maynard):

In relation to the application for a Development Consent Order (DCO) for the Northampton Gateway Strategic Rail Freight Interchange (SRFI), the Planning Inspectorate provided the Department with the Examining Authority's Report of Findings and Conclusions and Recommendation on 9 July 2019. The Secretary of State notes the issues raised in this petition and will make a decision on the application by the 9 October 2019, taking account of all relevant representations.

The application for a DCO by Rail Central is currently being considered by the Planning Inspectorate.

Under the Planning Act 2008, the final decision to approve DCOs for any new proposed development rests with the Secretary of State, who would therefore be unable to comment on individual applications.

The National Policy Statement for National Networks (NN-NPS) sets out government policy on the development of Strategic Rail Freight Interchanges.