Thursday 12 March 2020
West Midlands rail freight interchange
The petition of residents of Gailey, Penkridge, Wheaton Aston, Bishops Wood, Stafford, and Staffordshire,
Declares that the current proposals to build the West Midlands Interchange at the A5 roundabout near Gailey will lead to mass congestion in the region, with over 18,000 extra vehicles occupying the A449 and A5, erode the identity of the small surrounding villages and have a devastating impact on the environment, with the development predicted to cause over 16 tonnes of added CO2 emissions.
The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government and Secretary of State for Transport to take all possible steps to reject these proposals and to ensure that the greenbelt is maintained for the benefit of future generations.
And the petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Theo Clarke, Official Report, 26 February 2020; Vol. 672, c. 436.]
Observations from the Minister of State, Department for Transport (Chris Heaton-Harris):
On the 27 November 2019, following a year-long public consultation and evidence gathering, the Planning Inspectorate provided the Department with the Examining Authority’s Report of Findings and Conclusions and Recommendation to the Secretary of State, in respect of Four Ashes Limited application for a development consent order in relation to the proposed West Midlands Rail Freight Interchange.
The Examining Authority when conducting an examination into a proposed development will consider a number of planning issues, which will include amongst other things, impacts related to the local road network, local communities and the environment.
The deadline for a decision on this application was 27 February 2020. The West Midlands Rail Freight Interchange application remains with the Secretary of State for consideration and a new deadline will be announced in due course.
The Department acts in a quasi-judicial role in this decision and the proposal remains a live planning application. As such the Department is not able to comment on the merits of the case.