Freight interchange passes national need test

National need has prevailed in a decision to grant development consent order for a strategic rail freight interchange (SRFI) on farmland in Northamptonshire.

The proposed Northampton Gateway development, covering almost 300 hectares, comprised an intermodal freight terminal including container storage, heavy goods vehicle parking, rail sidings to serve warehouses and capacity to provide a rapid rail freight facility. New road infrastructure and improvements to the existing road network were also required.

The secretary of state for transport held that the proposal complied with the 2014 national policy statement on national networks, which identifies a compelling national need for an expanded network of strategic rail freight interchanges to meet demand without restrictions on their number. On this basis, he considered that any potential adverse local impacts, as mitigated by the proposed terms of the development consent order, would be outweighed by the transport infrastructure benefits of a project for which a presumption in favour was established by national policy.

Examiners: Philip James, David Brock, Helen Cassini; Hearing

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