Several residents have been in touch with me about the property bond that is being promoted by Ashfield Land and their agents in relation to the proposed Rail Central strategic rail freight interchange near Blisworth. You will recall that I have been concerned about Ashfield Land’s approach on the property bond for two years.
I am deeply concerned by what I have been told by these constituents about the way that they are being treated by Ashfield Land, the lack of communication and engagement, and the costs that are being incurred in simply trying to understand the detail contained within the property bond documentation. I am also disappointed that the current property bond on offer appears to be substantially less generous than that which was initially proposed.
I have written to James Digby, one of the directors at Ashfield Land, to ask him to urgently consider the points that have been put to me by these affected residents, and I have also taken the matter up with my colleague Chris Grayling who, as Transport Secretary, has oversight of the National Policy Statement for National Networks that these SRFIs fall under.
I remain absolutely committed to do all that I can to ensure that residents’ objections to both the Rail Central and Northampton Gateway proposals are heard, and I am still entirely unconvinced that either development would have any net positive benefit for our community.
If you are concerned about the property bond or have any specific issue about the SRFIs that you would like to raise with me and have yet to do so, please do get in touch. I am sure that Mark Redding, the local action group coordinator, would also be pleased to hear from you.