Ashfield Land’s plans for its 8m sq ft Rail Central logistics development at Northampton have moved a step closer. Public consultation on the plan has now concluded, paving the way for an application to the Planning Inspectorate.
Rail Central is a proposal for a Strategic Rail Freight Interchange (SRFI) at a key strategic location where the West Coast Main Line meets the Northampton Loop Line adjacent to the A43 and within 2 miles of the M1.
Ashfield Land’s James Digby said: “Rail Central is a nationally significant scheme with the potential to deliver significant benefits – but those benefits need to be balanced with local impact and the local context. With around 1,000 people coming to the exhibitions over the last three weeks, we’ve been able to introduce and explain the scheme, where we are in the planning and design process, what happens next and how, ultimately, we are looking to use input via the consultation to improve the scheme. We’re grateful to everyone who visited the exhibitions and we’re looking forward to continuing our important consultation throughout the year.”
Further consultation is planned over the summer and autumn in line with an agreed Statement of Community Consultation which sets out a full range of engagement in line with the planning process for Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects.
Digby adds: “We are at a relatively early stage in the development of the scheme which means asking for feedback now is a good time so that suggestions can be taken on board and the scheme design influenced. Layering on more detail will happen over the coming months and will be important as we look to refine the design.”
The firm is expected to apply for planning permission in the first quarter of 2017. If it wins approval work on site could begin by 2019 with occupiers moving into new units in 2021.