All posts by Stop Rail Central

Counting the Cost

Blisworth is a village with its roots buried deep into the past. It was there in Saxon Times appearing in the Domesday book. It has survived war, deprivation and pestilence for over a thousand years. It survives today in the warp and weft of its currently established Parish Council, Clubs, Societies and institutions that have created a cohesive happy society.

The building of a Rail Freight Interchange will destroy this village. Hyperbole? I think not. When the 7,500,000 square feet of land are concreted over and the resulting infill becomes a built environment (speculators are already making enquiries) Blisworth will disappear into the urban sprawl of Northampton.

It will be gone forever.

The continuing despoilation of English villages means our grandchildren will learn about them from Museums and old photos.

AND FOR WHAT?

The transportation of “stuff”!

The project posits the view that the consumer society will continue its headlong pursuit of more and more stuff. Research suggests otherwise.

It is increasingly clear the acquisition of the latest “Gew-Gaws” and consumer goods has done nothing for the happiness of people.

Depression, anxiety and suicide in young people are increasing every year. More and more people are turning away from acquiring goods and look to life experiences, searching for well-being and personal contentment.

The consumer society is dying, by the time these warehouses are built they will be “white elephants” their time already past.

We are facing a new industrial revolution. What products we do need will be created by artificial intelligence and industrial robots. We will no longer need the cheap labour of the far east or the transport of goods from halfway across the world.

Twenty or thirty years hence, with increased leisure and time created by the new industrial revolution, what we will need is an environment that gives us pleasure, beauty and enjoyment of the natural world.

If this monstrosity is built we will look at its desecration of the countryside as madness, utter madness.

Next Actions

When Ashfield Land formally submit their application everyone must take the opportunity to register as an interested party and give their views.

This can be done online on the Planning Inspectorate’s web site but can only be done after the application has been submitted.  In the meantime, you can sign up for email alerts by going to https://infrastructure.planninginspectorate.gov.uk/projects/east-midlands/rail-central-strategic-rail-freight-interchange/.

You will then get an email telling you when you can register.  Stop Rail Central will also remind you when the time comes.

An update on Rail Freight Interchanges

For those wondering what has happened to the proposals to build two massive Rail Freight Interchanges on adjacent pieces of land here in South Northants, here is a brief summary of what we know.  Ashfield Land’s Rail Central, which has been in planning for well over five years, and in our consciousness for over two, has still not been lodged as a formal application.  There is a suggestion that another round of public exhibitions will be held in March so any formal submission to the Planning Inspectorate is likely to be in the second half of 2018 but, based on past experience with this Developer, who knows?  In the meantime, fellow RFI Proposer, Roxhill, whose RFI has been in the official planning process a much shorter time (albeit it spent quite a while on the drawing board as a standard warehouse park without a rail connection,) has leapfrogged its rival, having completed a second round of public exhibitions in 2017.  We expect the formal application to be lodged in the first half of this year before we stall ourselves to endure up to a year of examination and subsequent determination by the Planning Inspectorate.  This process will undoubtedly overlap to a degree with an identical examination of the Ashfield Land proposal which will seriously stretch local (and national) resources and add elements of confusion and complication to the whole process. Continue reading An update on Rail Freight Interchanges

An Environmental Viewpoint

The population of the UK currently sits at around 65m and is estimated to rise to 70m by 2024 (the equivalent of 5 more Birminghams) and 75m by 2039.  We currently import 48% of our food requirements which continues to rise as fertile farmland is given over to new warehouses and housing to accommodate the annual net migration of 336,000 per annum (2014 figure) and continuing population increase.  The UK would currently require 3.6 UKs to be self-sustaining (and this figure also continues to increase).  In addition, the Government’s commitment to reduce carbon emissions and restrict global warming to 2 deg C can never be achieved with an increasing population.  As the cost of importing food increases (due to scarcity of supply and inevitable increased transport costs) the importance of being more self-sustaining in terms of food production becomes paramount.  If the UK continues on its current course of uncontrolled population growth and the paving over of our countryside with facilities that are constructed solely to distribute mostly imported goods to an over-burgeoning population, our farmland, which is ultimately our most important natural resource, will be lost forever under concrete and tarmac.  In the not too distant future, when we desperately need it, it will no longer be available.

Continue reading An Environmental Viewpoint

Andrea Leadsom Blog 29th September 2017

I had meetings this week with the developers of the two proposed strategic rail freight interchanges, Ashfield Land (Rail Central) and Roxhill (Northampton Gateway).

As ever, I was keen to ensure that the concerns that local residents are raising with me are being put directly to the developers, as well as to hear where both are in their consultation and planning application processes. I highlighted the traffic movements (HGVs and workers) on and off the sites and the potential for severe congestion on our road networks, especially coupled with the timetables for other developments like HS2, the expansion of Towcester, and new housing in and around the Borough. I also raised residents’ ongoing concerns about visual blight relating to the heights of the buildings and appropriate levels of bunding and other sympathetic screening, as well as noise and light pollution in the rural areas affected.

Continue reading Andrea Leadsom Blog 29th September 2017

Parish Footpath Walk

It is a centuries old tradition for parishes to organise a group walk along public footpaths that once were vital routes for everyday life and even today remain essential for recreation and enjoying the countryside. ’Beating the bounds’ as the tradition was called, was a reminder of our heritage of accessible footpaths through open countryside.

In this part of Northamptonshire the countryside and its footpaths have never been under greater threat. The cumulative effect of all the major development projects planned locally, will be to concrete over thousands of acres of countryside and wildlife habitat and bring even higher levels of traffic and air and noise pollution.

Continue reading Parish Footpath Walk