Public urged to comment on rail freight hub plans

Hinckley National Rail Freight Interchange plan

The public are now able to register their interest and make initial representations on plans for the 662-acre Hinckley National Rail Freight Interchange.

This is part of the next round of consultation on the plans – the Relevant Representation stage – which runs until 23 June. A Relevant Representation allows members of the public to set out their initial views of the application in writing, and this can be done by filling in the Registration and Relevant Representation form on the Planning Inspectorate website, or by telephoning the Planning Inspectorate on 0303 444 5000 to request a paper copy.

Those individuals who submit a Relevant Representation then automatically become an Interested Party which entitles them to submit a more detailed representation later in the process and will mean they are invited to a Preliminary Meeting with the Examining Inspectors, should they wish to attend.

Last month the Planning Inspectorate accepted the submission of the rail freight hub plans, allowing the application to progress for further examination.

The Planning Inspectorate is dealing with the application due to its size and scale. The final decision on whether the plans are passed or rejected will be made by the Secretary of State for Transport.

Along with other local councils, Blaby District Council is a consultee in the process.

The Council has already raised major issues with the application, saying last year’s public consultation was inadequate.

It said there were failures to provide accurate detail and mitigation on impacts on highways and the landscape, as well as the extra barrier downtime at Narborough Level Crossing in terms of its effects on both traffic congestion and air quality for residents.

The major scheme, earmarked for 662 acres of land between the M69 and the Leicester to Birmingham railway line, falls mainly within the boundary of Blaby District Council, south-west of Elmesthorpe village.

The development would reach to the fringes of Burbage Common in Hinckley and Bosworth Borough if it is permitted - the size of it would swallow up Burbage Common three times over.

The design includes a rail port able to deal with as many as 16 trains up to 775 m long per day, with areas for container storage and cranes for loading and unloading shipping containers from trains and lorries.

If approved, there would be up to 850,000 sq m of warehouse and ancillary buildings, including the scope for some buildings to be directly rail connected if required.

Also planned is a lorry park, a new A47 link road and south facing slip roads onto the M69.

The Council is now preparing its own Relevant Representation response for submission by 23 June.

10 May 2023