PINS refuses to accept 'unsatisfactory' rail freight application

A proposal for a rail freight interchange in Northamptonshire has become only the second major infrastructure application not to be accepted by the Planning Inspectorate (PINS).

In a letter outlining its decision, PINS confirmed that the application for a rail interchange at Daventry, which was submitted by real estate company Prologis and the Rugby Radio Station Limited Partnership (RRSLP) for consideration as a nationally significant infrastructure project (NSIP), would not be accepted because the way in which the project was described in the application made it "difficult to understand what the applicant is seeking consent for".

The letter concluded that the application was "not of a standard that is satisfactory".

The plans for the former Rugby Radio Station site, on land to the east of the A5 road, include a new sidings, container storage space, up to 714,000 square metres of storage and distribution floorspace, a lorry park and infrastructure such as roads and bridges.

The PINS letter added that the application for the interchange – known as DIRFT III – did not give an adequate explanation "as to why certain off-site highway mitigation works are considered not to be NSIPs in their own right".

It also said that no evidence was provided regarding whether the works would be likely to have a significant effect on the environment.

A spokesman for RRSLP and Prologis said: "Having spent many years working up detailed and comprehensive proposals for DIRFT III, we submitted our application in October this year, following regular ongoing dialogue and meetings with the Planning Inspectorate (PINS).  

"We have recently received an update from PINS that they are not satisfied with a small number of technical matters relating to very specific aspects of the submission documentation."

The spokesman added that RRSLP and PINS were addressing PINS’ concerns and would be meeting the inspectorate "very shortly" to fully clarify the issues.  

He said: "We are committed to bringing the DIRFT III scheme forward and will continue to focus on doing so."

The only other NSIP application not to be accepted for examination by PINS was for an electricity line connection at the Maesgwyn wind farm in south Wales. The Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC), prior to its absorbtion by PINS, decided not to accept the application in 2010.

A total of 23 NSIP applications have been submitted to PINS. In addition to the two that were not accepted for examination, one was withdrawn, while three have been decided.

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