Overview


The Site

The proposed SRFI site is located to the south-west of the motorway, contained to the west by the Northampton Loop railway, and to the east by the A508 road, and is located to the south of Northampton.

The site is in South Northamptonshire District, but adjacent to the boundary with Northampton Borough. Some of the proposed highways improvements are located within Northampton to the north of the M1, as well as at Junction 15 itself.

A site location plan is available here.

The site is in a strategically significant location for logistics and distribution activity. Located at the heart of the ‘golden triangle’ for logistics, there is considerable market demand and interest in national distribution activity. With immediate access to the M1 motorway and a direct rail connection, the site is perfectly placed to accommodate an SRFI and to help deliver the Government’s policy which seeks to encourage a ‘network’ of SRFI.

location

Background

A large proportion of the proposed SRFI site was subject of a major planning application submitted in late 2014 for a smaller amount of distribution led development. That application was informed by an Environmental Impact Assessment which included a range of surveys and assessments to understand the suitability of the land for development, and any likely significant environmental effects. That process also involved direct consultation with South Northamptonshire District Council, Northampton Borough Council, and Northamptonshire County Council, as well as a wide range of other bodies and the local community.

The knowledge and information gained during that process has directly helped inform and shape these new proposals.


The Development

The application is for the development of a Strategic Rail Freight Interchange (SRFI) together with landscaping, access and other supporting infrastructure works. It consists of:

  • An intermodal freight terminal including container storage and HGV parking, rail sidings to serve individual warehouses, and with the capability to also provide a ‘rapid rail freight’ facility as part of the intermodal freight terminal;
  • Up to 468,000 sq m (approximately 5 million sq ft) (gross internal area) of warehousing and ancillary buildings, with additional floorspace provided in the form of mezzanines;
  • New road infrastructure and works to the existing road network, including the provision of a new access and associated works to the A508, a new bypass to the village of Roade, improvements to Junction 15 and to Junction 15A of the M1 motorway, the A45, and other highway improvements at junctions on the local highway network;
  • Strategic landscaping and tree planting, including diverted public rights of way; and
  • Earthworks and demolition of existing structures on the SRFI site.

The proposals have progressed the concepts and design principles which underpinned the earlier planning proposals on part of this same site, with a key objective being to substantially screen the site from outside view. Updated technical work is ongoing, but this can be achieved through a combination of:

  • maximising the opportunities offered by the existing topography;
  • an earthworks strategy which would ‘sink’ many of the buildings into the site and create new perimeter landscaped bunds;
  • significant new tree planting, and retention of existing woodland and plantation features within the site, to soften and screen views of the site.
masterplan