Gazeley v. Roxhill Face Off, Round 2
Gazeley and Ashfield have applied to the Planning Inspectorate for a development consent order to allow progress on their 7.4M SF Rail Central Strategic Rail Freight Interchange. The development is on a site where the West Coast Mainline and Northampton Loop Line railways intersect just south west of Northampton alongside the A43 and M1.
Roxhill, now in a tie-up with SEGRO, has a proposal for a rival 5M SF strategic rail freight interchange on an adjacent site close to junction 15 of the M1, called Northampton Gateway.
The Roxhill scheme is slightly ahead in the planning process. The Planning Inspectorate initiated the formal examination of the application on 10 September.
Gazeley and Ashfield are now striking back by saying Rail Central is the better site operationally because of its connections into two railway lines (the West Coast Mainline and Northampton Loop Line railways) and because of its ability to service traditional contained freight on a regular intermodal terminal plus the new and fast emerging ‘express freight’ market.
Subject to permission being granted to build Rail Central, the earliest potential start of construction would be in late 2019.