County Highlights Rail Freight Concerns
A detailed new report has shown the wide-ranging concerns Leicestershire County Council has with the proposed Hinckley National Rail Freight Interchange (HNRFI).
Responding with a written representation as a statutory consultee on the proposal, the county council’s report states that it cannot support the application due to the lack of information provided by the applicant.
HNRFI is planned on land to the east of Hinckley with access from M69 Junction 2. Plans submitted by Tritax Symmetry have been assessed by the county council, who found significant gaps, including:
Only 21 of 45 junctions needing detailed assessments by the applicant having been carried out.
No detailed assessment of impact on M1 J21/M69 J3.
No detailed analysis of the impact of the development on Sapcote village.
Significant impact on public rights of way and lack of proposals for new walking and cycling routes.
Overexaggerated carbon benefits of the scheme.
With the scale of the development increasing demand on the surrounding road network, Tritax have failed to properly address or plan for appropriate access infrastructure on numerous elements of the scheme.
Concerns in relation to economic information and carbon emissions have also been highlighted, including inconsistencies over employment claims for the development and the additional emissions being bought to Leicestershire that have failed to be mitigated against.
Councillor Ozzy O’Shea, cabinet member for highways and transport, said:
“It’s plain to see that the highways information provided by Tritax is nowhere near enough for us to support this proposal. Information is lacking and where it is provided, some is inconsistent."
“I hope this reassures residents who will be most impacted by this development that our representation to the Planning Inspectorate makes it clear the information supporting the proposals falls way short of what we’d expect to see.
“Rail freight interchanges do have benefits and another in Leicestershire would be welcomed, but it has to be right for the county and our road network, and from what we can see this location just isn’t suitable.”
Due to the scale of the development, the final decision will be made by the Secretary of State for Transport.
The council’s cabinet will discuss the HNRFI at 2pm on 24 October.