Clifton’s DIRFT 3 concerns

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Villagers in Clifton have lodged their official response to DIRFT’s expansion plans – and fear for the future of their environment.

Managers at the vast rail freight terminal want to expand it on to the former radio mast site to the east of the A5. They claim ‘DIRFT 3’ will create 9,000 jobs and help businesses across the country.

But some of those living near the site are concerned about the resulting increase in traffic – compounded by the likelihood of thousands of new homes being built on the mast site.

In its submission to the Planning Inspectorate, Clifton parish council states: “The harmful environmental deterioration caused by the present DIRFT complex is evident to local residents.

“It is imperative that all steps are taken to minimise the environmental impact of DIRFT 3 and the BT mast site development. The effects of the increases in vehicle movement that will take place as a result of DIRFT 3 alone will be considerable.

“Excessive vehicle speeds and increases in the number of vehicles, mainly from the present DIRFT 3 complex, are already causing serious problems which need to be addressed now.”

The parish council has suggested a range of ways to reduce the potential problems. It has proposed traffic calming measures, lower speed limits, and tracks for cyclists and pedestrians.

Clifton parish council chairman Cllr Doug Hall has also written to Prime Minister David Cameron about the plans. Cllr Hall wrote: “There cannot be many places in the world where a small village will experience on its doorstep in the next few years a new housing development of more than 6,000 houses plus a large industrial site which will be more than doubled in size.”

The Bristol-based Planning Inspectorate is currently examining the proposals and is expected to decide next year whether to grant permission. Visit http://infrastructure.planningportal.gov.uk/projects/east-midlands/daventry-international-rail-freight-terminal/ for more information on the DIRFT 3 proposal.

Rugby Borough Council is expected to decide later this year whether to approve the housing development.