A visit to Roxhill’s exhibition

One year on and another opportunist developer seeks to ruin our Christmas cheer. A number of concerned residents attended the recent exhibitions staged by Roxhill at the Hilton as did members of Stop Rail Central Ltd. Ian Rigby of Roxhill was present and answered a number of questions; some of which are summarised below:

When asked why strategically this is the right place for a SRFI Mr Rigby replied, “I cannot think of a better place”. He went on to explain that it is near a railway, close to a big road and in Northampton, “the warehouse capital of England”.

Continue reading A visit to Roxhill’s exhibition

Rail Freight: an industry in crisis?

A commentary on “DfT Rail Freight Growth & Modal Shift Study 1st September 2016” (prepared for the Department for Transport by Aecom Arup) SRC comments in Italics

The Department for Transport (DfT) commissioned this report in 2016 to help it to understand the future growth potential in the UK rail freight market, in particular the scope for modal shift from road to rail. The study also investigated the policy measures required to realise this potential and assess the reduction in carbon emissions these measures may bring. One of the background drivers to this report has been the greater than expected rate of decline of traditional markets, especially coal movements, which has resulted in industry and government needing to respond through exploiting opportunities enabled by this decline.

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SRC Ltd collated feedback

As part of the planning application process, the developer is required to “consult” with the community, “consider” its feedback and, where they think appropriate, revise and amend the scheme design to mitigate the adverse impacts that the community have highlighted (and to provide some community benefit).  SRC Ltd have collated the feedback, views and opinions of the local community and fed them back to Ashfield Land who, at some stage in the future, have promised to produce a summary report.  The community is of the view that there is no way to mitigate the adverse effects of this development and so wait with great interest to read this report.  The two feedback letters can be downloaded / viewed from the Downloads Section.

Please click the button below to be redirected to our Downloads Page where you will find the two documents:-
SRC Ltd collated feedback Part 1 & Part 2


Just more of the same really

Roxhill, the company behind the latest attempt to build massive warehouses on top of our local communities, presented their plans to Blisworth Parish Council on Monday night. Ian Rigby of Roxhill was supported by Steve Harley from Oxalis Planning and also by transport consultant Steve Johnstone. Having read the plans and environmental scoping report we were not expecting any great revelations. What we were expecting, however, was slightly more professionalism than shown by Ashfield Land and more considered answers to our questions. What we got was more of the same: another Ashfield Land; vague and unqualified statements and a failure to address the one critical question: why is it needed?

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Will the railway be used?

There are many questions still to be answered regarding the ability of the rail network to accommodate an 8 million square foot rail freight interchange in South Northamptonshire. Only Network Rail can provide the definitive answer so perhaps the more pertinent question to ask is whether there is actually sufficient demand for the movement of freight via rail to justify the building of Rail Central?

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Your Villages Need You

Please download and display the poster below promoting our next ‘Open Village’ meeting scheduled for 7:30pm Monday 10th October 2016, being held in the Village Hall, Stoke Rd, Blisworth.

The more people we can get involved in our cause against the proposed development, the greater our chance to ‘stop rail central’.

Your Village(s) need you! (poster)

Please download and display the poster to make as many people aware of the ‘open village’ meeting.

(published 22/09/2016)

Build it and they will come? I think not

The Government needs to realise, before it is too late and the whole of our county is covered over with warehouses, that freight being moved by rail is not determined by the volume of rail connected warehouses available but by economics, practicality and reliability.

Following Brian Ringer’s article last month on the challenges facing rail freight, Paul Shannon writes in September’s issue of Rail magazine about the demise of coal rail freight and ponders the question of what will replace it.

Whilst coal has been the mainstay of the Rail Freight Industry for many years other primary products and raw materials such as oil, petroleum and chemicals have also supported the rail freight industry but it appears that, like coal, their days are numbered and certainly no increase in such commodities is predicted. Construction materials may offer a lifeline [but these will not be
transported to warehouse estates in Northamptonshire

Continue reading Build it and they will come? I think not

Rail Freight No More

A synopsis of Brian Ringer’s article on the future of UK rail freight in light of the decline of heavy industry on which it depends. Brian was the former Freight Operations Manager with the Strategic Rail Authority. Modern Railways September 2016

Rail freight’s problems and their causes are by no means new. Although much of the present discussion centres around the decline of coal fired electricity generation the long term decline of rail freight has continued with few blips since the 1950’s. So where does this malaise lie?

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Done deal? I think not

For those of you that might still be thinking that Rail Central is a ‘done deal’ and will go ahead no matter what we do, I would draw your attention to a recent decision on a Scottish SRFI.

In August 2016 the Scottish Courts upheld a decision to refuse planning permission for the development of a Strategic Rail Freight Interchange in Mosshead Glasgow. The reasons for refusal are reasons that could equally apply to the Rail Central proposal. The summary paragraph is reproduced below and it is clear to see that a parallel can be drawn with Rail Central’s proximity to DIRFT when they mention ‘eclipsing existing and proposed alternative sites’ (not to mention other potential RFI developments). Similar parallels can also be drawn re the conflict with the local plan, loss of green space and the adverse impacts on nearby housing.

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What about the People?

What do you think the Directors of Ashfield Land see when they gaze across Milton Vale? Does Andrew Fisher, Managing Director and founder, see 650 acres of beautiful productive farmland; or is he, perhaps, visualising his new holiday villa in the south of France? What do you think is in James Digby’s mind when he eyes the scores of veteran trees and miles of ancient hedgerows: his new Maserati perhaps? And does Claire Cope see the varied and plentiful wildlife: the multiple species of bats; birds and plant life; or is she, maybe, planning her next move up the property ladder? One thing is certain: none of them see (or maybe chose not to see) the lives that are inextricably linked with this unique and important piece of open countryside. The lives of the people who have made their homes here, many of whom had expected to see out their remaining days in peaceful tranquillity, un-accosted by the outside forces that wish to possess, exploit and destroy the environment for their own personal gain.

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Stop the proposed rail freight development between Blisworth and Milton Malsor