The first hearing into the Development Consent Order needed to build DIRFT III, a rail freight terminal that could employ 9,000 people, will take place on August 30.
Prologis, who manage the Daventry International Rain Freight Terminal (DIRFT), want to expand it onto the former radio mast site near Hillmorton in a development sited beside the 6,200-home residential project also set to take place in the area.
Development Consent Orders are for significant infrastructure projects and will mean the project is consented to by a Government Minister. The Minister will have power to apply, modify or exclude legislation in a order, which can include rights to compulsory purchase land and a legal right against claims of statutory nuisance.
The development is a joint venture between ProLogis and Rugby Radio Station Limited Partnership (RRSLP), which includes BT and Aviva. The DIRFT III site would also be rail connected, with over 70 hectares (around 110 football pitches) of warehousing covering over 163 hectares (253 football pitches) of land plus a 3.5 hectare HGV parking site.
Due to its vast size DIRFT III could take up to 15 years to build and bring a huge economic benefits to the area including the creation of up to 9,000 jobs.
However, 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 stated: “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 III and the BT mast site development. The effects of the increases in vehicle movement that will take place as a result of DIRFT III 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 first hearing on the draft order will be held on Friday August 30 at the Holiday Inn Hotel, Crick, off Junction 18 of the M1. To find out how to attend, contact the Planning Inspectorate on 0303 444 5000 or DIRFT3@infrastructure.gsi.gov.uk.