Stop Roxhill

On top of all the other issues raised by the 5m sq ft warehouse proposal - it is hard to fully grasp the sheer size of the over 500 acres of countryside that will be lost. See video link below

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                                                                     Too  many warehouses?

During the last major expansion of Northampton in the 70’s and 80’s, there was concern over the dependence of the local economy on the Distribution and Warehousing.  Now the 'Logistics'  industry is occupying many acres of the Northamptonshire countryside and huge warehouses are a magnet for countless diesel HGV’s. They provide relatively few jobs relative to the space taken up and many of these are increasingly being automated and replaced by robots.

The stated aim of the County has been to attract high skilled, high tech, high quality employers. The site at Grange Park adjoining Junction 15 was originally earmarked for prestige offices. This hope failed to materialise and  the site was released for yet more warehouses.

This area is at the southern edge of the so called ‘Golden Triangle’ (bounded by the M1/M6/M42) and is a prime target for mega sheds on greenfields giving fast HGV access to the motorway network. The benefits for the developers and operators are clear but the high environmental cost is only now being realised.

   Roxhill's Proposals for Northampton Gateway

Roxhill have 13 of these warehouse schemes in England alone. They are all at various stages of planning or completion and the only one finished (but not yet fully occupied) is at Rugby.

The Roxhill'Northampton Gateway' will be one of the largest warehouse developments in Europe and their biggest yet. It will be totally out of scale with the surrounding environment. It will displace over 500 acres of agricultural land and the wildlife habitat it provides. It is in conflict with the adopted Planning Strategy for West Northamptonshire and local and neighbourhood plans.

It will place further strains on the Junction 15/A45/A508 road network and add to already dangerous levels of air and noise pollution.

The proposal from Roxhill is not in response to a national strategy – it is ‘developer led’ simply because a landowner  is willing to sell.  It conflicts with the recently agreed West Northamptonshire Joint Core Strategy. This specifically excludes the proposed site and submissions for its inclusion were rejected by the Planning Inspector. An earlier planning application to South Northants District Council (SNC) was opposed by all surrounding Parish Councils, local residents and MP’s and was subsequently withdrawn.

Roxhill hope to bypass the local planning process by presenting this as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) rather than another large warehouse complex with some limited capacity to accept rail freight. If this is accepted by the Planning Inspectorate the decision will be made by the Secretary of State for Transport rather than by the local planning authority. 

The impact on the wider area surrounding Junction 15 will be dramatic. The environmental impact of traffic using the UK’s busiest stretch of Motorway has up to now been offset by the open landscape in this part of Northamptonshire. Turning this open countryside into a 5m sq ft industrial estate will affect the quality of life in over large parts of south Northampton.  The prevailing winds are from the west of the proposed site and sweep across Collingtree to the residential areas of East and West Hunsbury, Wootton and Grange Park.

Northampton Gateway is in addition to the similar scheme put forward by Ashfield Land for an 8m sq ft warehouse and rail interchange between Blisworth and Milton Malsor. This is being opposed by the Stop Rail Central campaign group who have been assembling data to challenge the strategic need for rail freight operations in this area. The results of this can be accessed on the link below: