Stop Roxhill

The developer, Roxhill, has proposed building 5 million square feet

 of warehousing on over 500 acres of arable farmland close to Junction

 15 of the M1 and the surrounding communities of Roade, Milton

 Malsor, Grange Park and Collingtree.

This is in addition to the separate proposal from Ashfield Land (Rail Central) for another

8 million sq ft of warehousing on an adjoining site.


Click on thumbnails to enlarge.

There are many reasons to oppose this speculative proposal:


CONFLICT WITH PLANNING POLICY

 The agreed Strategic Plan for the region, specifically excludes industrial development at this location.
A previous application by Roxhill for a 2.67m sq ft Distribution Centre was withdrawn after widespread opposition.


BY PASSING LOCAL DEMOCRACY

Roxhill argue that the inclusion of a rail link to the Northampton Loop line allows this proposal to be decided by central government as 'Nationally Significant Infrastructure' rather than by the locally accountable planning process.


HUGE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT

Residential areas surrounding the proposed site  are already exposed to high levels of air, noise and light pollution that are already above legal limits. Some of this has been partly mitigated by dispersion over open countryside close by. Roxhill's proposal will destroy this 'green lung' as well as the wildlife habitat it provides. (see video clip on next page)


TRAFFIC OVERLOAD

The existing traffic congestion on the M1, A45 and A508, is self evident and increases 'rat running' through residential roads. The number of (diesel) HGV's needed to service 5 million sq ft of warehousing will be enormous. Roxhill claim that 6,000 people will work at the site. Because of low unemployment in this region, the workforce would be drawn from a wide area and are likely to travel by car. Roxhill have promised to fund improvements to Junction 15 but the changes proposed in their earlier (and smaller) planning application, were judged by planners as unlikely to add to overall capacity.


LACK OF STRATEGIC 'NEED'

Industry experts say that a Rail Interchange is not needed in this location because the DIRFT facility is only 18 miles further north and has expansion capacity for the next 20 years. In addition, The likely occupiers would be yet more road freight warehouse operators moving to be nearer to the M1. This would be completely against government objectives and an unintended consequence of an unclear policy on locating Rail Freight Interchanges.


 Is it really in the 'national interest' to wipe out  out hundreds of acres of

productive farmland and wildlife habitat  -  and create yet more traffic congestion

 and pollution on an already overstretched road network ?




TO SIGN A PETITION TO ANDREA LEADSOM, MP FOR SOUTH NORTHAMPTONSHIRE

CLICK HERE  


LATEST NEWS - what to do next.


PINS has now begun the process of examining Roxhill’s application to build 5 million sq ft of a warehouses/rail interchange on 500 acres of countryside, opposite Collingtree, Hunsbury and Grange Park. As a first step they invited groups and individuals to register as ‘Interested Parties’ so that they could comment or object. The window to do this closed on 5th August.

 All the representations/ objections received have now been posted on the PINS website and can be seen using this link:
https://infrastructure.planninginspectorate.gov.uk/projects/east-midlands/northampton-gateway-rail-freight-interchange/?ipcsection=relreps

The objections are from a wide area and include the strong opposition of most of the parish councils in both Northampton Borough and South Northants.


The Planning Inspectorate has announced the timetable for the Inquiry process. It began with a preliminary meeting for all those who registered to comment to be held at the Hilton Hotel on 9th October at 9.30am.

Key dates are a 'Issue Specific Hearing' on environmental issues on Wednesday 19th December (10am) and Thursday 20th December (9.30am) dealing with the format of the application. Both these meetings are at the Hilton Hotel, Collingtree.

Full details of the process are on this link:

  https://infrastructure.planninginspectorate.gov.uk/wp-content/ipc/uploads/projects/TR050006/TR050006-000711-Northampton%20Gateway%20Rule%206%20Letter%20DRAFT%20V1%20.pdf

Anyone who wants to make further comments on the proposal can now do so and send them by Email to:

https://infrastructure.planninginspectorate.gov.uk/projects/east-midlands/northampton-gateway-rail-freight-interchange/

These further comments must be received by PINS by 12 noon on 6th November and should focus on the key issue of impact on the local environment e.g. air, noise and light pollution together with traffic congestion and crime risk. Of particular relevance would be comments from people who might be adversely affected  - for example those who might already be suffering from breathing difficulties.

Following the preliminary meeting, PINS has published a recording of the Open Hearing with presentations from various groups and individuals. This can be found on this link.