Hinckley National Rail Freight Interchange


An application has been made by Tritax Symmetry (formerly DB Symmetry) to the Secretary of State for Transport for a Development Consent Order (DCO). The development is a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) and is called the Hinckley National Rail Freight Interchange (HNRFI). While the Secretary of State makes the final decision, the examination process was administered by the Planning Inspectorate (sometimes referred to as the Examining Authority or the ExA).
The examination has concluded and the Examining Authority will send the Secretary of State their recommendation report by 12 June 2024. A decision on the HNRFI application is expected by 12 September 2024

All of the Council's examination submissions can be viewed on our planning applications web page by using the HNRFI’s dedicated reference 22/3000/HNRFI

A full copy of all the examination documents can be found on the Planning Inspectorate’s website using the link at the bottom of this page.

What is the HNRFI?

A proposed multi-purpose freight interchange and distribution centre southwest of Elmesthorpe and next to Burbage Common. It is predominantly within the boundary of Blaby District with a section of the new A47 link road within the boundary of Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council. The proposals include:

  • New rail infrastructure providing access to a series of parallel sidings
  • Intermodal freight terminal 'railport' capable of accommodating up to 16 trains per day of up to 775 meters in length
  • Hard surfaced areas for container storage
  • Up to 850,000 square meters of warehousing and ancillary buildings with a total footprint of 650,000 square meters and up to 200,000 square meters of mezzanine floorspace
  • Lorry park with welfare facilities and fuel filling station
  • Energy centre incorporating an electricity substation, a gas-fired combined heat and power plant, battery capacity and roof-mounted photovoltaic arrays 
  • Terrain remodelling, hard and soft landscape works, amenity water features and planting
  • Noise attenuation measures consisting of acoustic barriers up to 6 meters in height
  • Pedestrian, equestrian and cycle access routes and infrastructure
  • M69 update works including additional northbound and southbound slip roads
  • Link road from M69 junction 2 to the B4668/A47 Leicester Road
  • Formal consultation 12 January to 8 April 2022 
  • Submission 6 February 2023
  • Withdrawal 2 March 2023
  • Resubmission 17 March 2023
  • Acceptance for examination 13 April 2023
  • Pre-examination 14 April 2023 to 12 September 2023
  • Examination 12 September 2023 to 12 March 2024
  • Recommendation by 12 June 2024
  • Decision estimated by 12 September 2024
The Council's objections at examination

In the early stages of the HNRFI’s examination the Council submitted a Local Impact Report (describing likely technical impacts) and a Written Representation (explaining the Council’s views). These can be found on our planning applications web page by using the HNRFI’s dedicated reference 22/3000/HNRFI.
Later, in its closing submission to the examination, the Council outlined its key outstanding concerns. It urged the Secretary of State to refuse the application.

The Council contended:

  • The true severity of highways impacts, especially at the M1/M69 junction and Narborough level crossing has been poorly assessed so required mitigation is unknown
  • The proposal is badly designed and would create major adverse landscape and ecological impacts with the loss of wildlife habitat
  • Neighbouring settlements would suffer from unnecessary noise and light pollution
  • Expected job creation would not benefit the District as it results in generally low-paid jobs when compared to the District’s housing costs
  • The suggested socio-economic and climate change benefits do not outweigh the adverse impacts
  • There is no guarantee that goods will be brought in by rail rather than by road

Further details of the Council’s position at the closing of the examination can be found in a dedicated press release. A technical summary is provided in our Deadline 8 submission: Summary and Signposting document which can be found on our website as detailed above.

Book of Reference

A ‘Book of Reference’ sets out who has been identified as having a legal interest in land within the project boundary or in a location that may be affected by the HNRFI. The Applicant has provided a physical copy of the Book of Reference which can be viewed during our normal opening hours at Blaby District Council’s Offices. An electronic version can be found on the Planning Inspectorate’s website using the external link below.

Last updated 30 April 2024
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