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Huge new rail freight depot in Leicestershire would create 8,400 jobs

But it is likely to have a massive impact on the environment and road network

ByDan Martin
Politics Reporter
18:15, 19 MAR 2018

Developers have revealed more than 8,000 jobs could be created by a huge industrial complex and rail freight terminal off the M69 in Leicestershire.

The proposed employment park would cover some 440 acres of what is predominantly farmland in a wedge between the motorway and the Leicester to Hinckley railway line to the south of Elmesthorpe village.

The site has been earmarked for the potential development for some time but now the firm behind the venture – DB Symmetry - has revealed more details of about it in a document submitted to the Planning Inspectorate.

Though the site sits within the borders of Blaby District Council it will be the Planning Inspectorate, ie the Government, that determines whether it is allowed to proceed rather than local councillors.

This is because the project is deemed to be a potentially vital part of the nation’s infrastructure.

DB Symmetry was looking at an alternative site in Warwickshire between Nuneaton and the M69 but the submission of the new scoping document to the Planning Inspectorate indicates the site north east of Hinckley is now the preferred location.

Access from the complex to the M69 would be via a new dual carriageway road and new southern slip roads would be built at Junction 2 of the motorway.

The company has said it is not yet in a position to comment but its plans say 850,000 square metres of warehouses are proposed with a potential workforce of 8,400 on site.

It would include a 1,500,000 square foot warehouse which it is understood would be the largest building in Leicestershire.

The rail interchange would be capable of accommodating trains half a mile in length.

The massive scale of scheme means it will have a considerable impact on the environment, landscape, and roads in the area.

Blaby District Council leader Terry Richardson said: “There are so many imponderables on this and it will be quite a long drawn out planning process.

“We are still waiting for more information on what it will look like, how many vehicles will be coming in and out, when they will be coming in and out.

“With something like this the gut instinct is to say we don’t like it but we haven’t seen all the details.

“It will be strange because we are just a statutory consultee on this rather than the planning authority.

“We hope our voice will be heard but we still need the information so we can decide what our voice would be saying.”

A formal planning application will be submitted May or June 2019 with a decision being made in the spring or summer of 2020.

Currently DB Symmetry is in the pre-application stage and must set out proposals for consulting residents and councils on the project next month.

The company will then start consultation in June this year.


This proposed development would be next to Junction 2 of the M69, which will have new slip roads and eventually link up with Junction 20a of the M1.

I've seen more detail of the roads in the development, which include a roundabout to allow Clickers Way near Earl Shilton to link up with the M69.

The moving forward of this proposal is an indication that the Eastern Expressway around Leicester and the new Junction 20a are likely to happen in the future. This is why the site has become the preferred one. It will be in a key position for logistics between the north east and the south west.

What the development will also bring is further development along the M69, which will see Hinckley and large parts of Blaby DC become increasingly part of the Leicester Urban Area.

https://infrastructure.planninginsp...007/TR050007-000010-HRFI - Scoping Report.pdf
 

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EVERYTHING IS AWESOME
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why don't they just make the whole of the midlands a huge rail freight interchange? its heading that way anyway
 
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The Hinckley Interchange would serve a different part of the rail network and support a separate part of the Midlands region.
I thought that but it's well placed to serve Birmingham too. Although if these schemes are propping up all over the place perhaps I've been distracted by the word "National".

Also how come we're seeing these but no mention of restoring rail services to Magna Park, which would be much bigger? It sits on two closed railway lines!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The intention of these Interchanges, is to reduce long-distance lorry journeys - and shift logistics transportation onto rail. The East Midlands Gateway will serve a different urban market and freight line to the Hinckley interchange. The same is also true of the West Midland Interchange.
 

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I thought that but it's well placed to serve Birmingham too. Although if these schemes are propping up all over the place perhaps I've been distracted by the word "National".

Also how come we're seeing these but no mention of restoring rail services to Magna Park, which would be much bigger? It sits on two closed railway lines!
Perhaps the "National" is because the drive for them is coming from central government. The Interchanges will form a National network.

That is a damn good question, about a rail link for Magna Park...
 

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Also how come we're seeing these but no mention of restoring rail services to Magna Park, which would be much bigger? It sits on two closed railway lines!
The Magna Park website states that back in October 2015 a planning application went in which included a proposal for a rail freight terminal at Magna Park. Evidently nothing has come of this as yet.

EDIT:

In fact, the proposal for a rail freight terminal is for such a terminal to be located at Rugby!

The expansion plans of the warehousing side of Magna Park will mean building across the trackbed of the Midland Counties Railway.
 
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