Rail Freight Interchange application received

Developers Tritax Symmetry submitted their application for the Hinckley National Rail Freight Interchange (HNRFI) to the Planning Inspectorate.

The scheme, earmarked for 440 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 scheme is part of the Government’s long-standing plan to divert container transport traffic off major roads and onto the rail network for the bulk of its journey after arriving at major sea ports.

To provide for this the HNRFI will incorporate new rail sidings from the existing Leicester to Birmingham lines to accommodate up to 16 trains per day, of up to 775m in length which can link into warehousing and storage areas.

The warehousing and ancillary buildings themselves are expected to total up to 850,000m2 and reach up to 28 metres in height, and there will also be a lorry park, energy services area and associated landscaping with new access routes, a major new link road from the M69 to the B4668/A47 Leicester Road at Hinckley and southern facing slip roads at Junction 2 of the M69.

While Blaby District Council can comment on the application it does not make the final decision – the scheme is considered of such scale and national importance it is determined by the Secretary of State.

The Council’s Adequacy of Consultation Representation says:

  • Incomplete, inaccurate, and vague information has been provided and requested information remains outstanding.
  • The Applicant’s approach is inconsistent with government guidance and the legal principles of consultation.
  • While the Statutory Consultation began January 2022, the highways modelling inputs were not agreed until March 2022 and the impacts and mitigation are still not agreed and may change. There has been premature and inadequate consultation in this regard.
  • There is incomplete information on the need for and operation of the development as a rail freight interchange.
  • The impacts of increased barrier down time at Narborough Level Crossing, including detrimental air quality for residents, have not been satisfactorily considered.
  • The landscape impacts have not been adequately mitigated.

Developers Tritax Symmetry have now withdrawn their application for the Hinckley National Rail Freight Interchange.

The Planning Inspectorate have told Tritax they failed to provide a required technical report in their submission documents. It is understood Tritax will now take several weeks to prepare this report and will then need to resubmit their application.

This will restart the process from the start of the acceptance phase. It is expected this delay will add several weeks to the currently expected timetable.