You may be aware that I submitted my response to Roxhill’s statutory pre-application consultation in late November; if not, you can read a copy of my letter here.
It is anticipated that Roxhill will be sending their application for the Northampton Gateway SRFI to the Planning Inspectorate in late January / early February, and I am looking forward to the opportunity to engage directly with PINS on residents’ concerns about the proposal. PINS will undertake a full consideration of the application, including hearing the views of local people and statutory stakeholders, before making a recommendation to the Secretary of State to either grant or not grant a Development Consent Order.
I continue to receive letters and emails from constituents across South Northamptonshire who are concerned about the proposals, and I am extremely grateful to everyone for making their voices heard. The overwhelming majority of people who have been in touch are strongly opposed for a variety of reasons, including suitability of the site in the context of a national strategic network, existing capacity in other SRFIs in the area, availability of freight paths on the West Coast Main Line pre-2026, and so on.
I am also continuing to work with local residents who are opposed to the other SRFI proposal, Ashfield Land’s Rail Central. However, Ashfield Land are substantially further behind Roxhill in their processes and we do not have a clear indication when they will be bringing forward their statutory pre-application consultation.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those involved in the two local action groups, Stop Roxhill and Stop Rail Central, for all their hard work, and all the local residents who are affected by either proposal for their determination and resolve. I understand that, in addition to the hundreds of pieces of correspondence I have received about the two projects, a petition with upwards of 300 signatures is on its way to me. I look forward to receiving it and I will, once Roxhill has submitted its application, ensure that the Planning Inspectorate has a copy as well.
If you haven’t yet contacted me with your views on either Northampton Gateway or Rail Central, please do get in touch; I am always grateful to my constituents for their thoughts on this or any other matter.