Planning Inspectorate to consider DIRFT expansion

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Plans for the proposed expansion of Daventry International Rail Freight Terminal (DIRFT) are to be taken forward for consideration by the Planning Inspectorate. The announcement was made on March 20, after the plans were resubmitted in February this year. A final decision is expected in 2014.

The regeneration and redevelopment of the former Radio Station site - land to the east of the A5 - is being proposed under a scheme to expand the DIRFT near Crick.

The proposals, known as ‘DIRFT III, have an important role to play in the future of the UK logistics industry.

If approved, the expansion would support large-scale rail-served logistics development and provide up to 9,000 jobs, reduce carbon emissions in the way goods are distributed and deliver an exemplar facility for the local area, wider region and country.

The plans have evolved over many years of engagement and discussions with local, regional and national stakeholders, including two rounds of consultation with local communities in the area in 2011 and 2012.

The scheme is being developed by Prologis and the Rugby Radio Station Limited Partnership (RRSLP) – a joint venture between BT and Aviva Investors.

Robin Woodbridge, senior vice president for development at Prologis, said: “We are pleased that the Planning Inspectorate (PINS) will progress our application. “The DIRFT III scheme could transform the local jobs and business economy over many years, delivering millions of pounds of private sector investment, providing thousands of jobs and providing business-critical infrastructure improvements to support the UK economy and UK growth.

“In these tough economic times, the value of the logistics industry to Daventry, Rugby and the local region has become increasingly obvious as this area fares better than other parts of the country and its economy proves more resilient. The investment we are proposing at DIRFT III will help to secure an even better and brighter economic future.

“The proposals will now be subject to examination in public by PINS and we look forward to continuing our dialogue with local communities and stakeholders in the area.”

The proposals will now be examined in detail by the Planning Inspectorate, the Government body that considers applications for nationally significant infrastructure projects. Members of the public and other interested parties will have the opportunity to provide their views directly to the Inspectorate. A final decision will be made by the Secretary of State for Transport. This is anticipated to take place in 2014.

Separately, Radio Station land to the west of the A5 is being proposed as a Sustainable Urban Extension (SUE) for Rugby. Should both developments be approved, the combination of new homes together with new jobs could have a significant positive effect on local growth, prosperity and sustainability.