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Rail freight application submitted

Published Thursday, 09 February 2023

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

The Planning Inspectorate have until 6 March to decide whether to accept the application. If the application is accepted, the Planning Inspectorate will begin assessing the developer’s plans. 

During this period, Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council has 14 days to respond to the Planning Inspectorate consultation on whether it believes the developer’s consultation on the plans leading up to the submission was adequate.

If the Planning Inspectorate accept that the application can proceed to Examination, there will then be an opportunity for the public to get involved during an expected six-month-long examination phase, including public hearings, which should take place later this year; a decision is expected by the middle of next year.

The scheme, earmarked for 440 acres of land between the M69 and the Leicester to Birmingham railway line, is to the north-east of Hinckley - partially within the Hinckley and Bosworth Borough with the majority situated within the Blaby District – and would be based close to Junction 2 of the M69 to the north of Burbage Common. 

Up to 268 hectares (equivalent to 662 acres) of land would be used for the construction of a rail terminal for the loading and unloading of freight trains under the proposals, providing 650,000 square metres of floorspace and up to 250,000 square metres of mezzanine space. 

The Borough Council, Blaby District Council and Leicestershire County Council are statutory consultees in the process but will not be deciding the application. Due to the size of the proposed development, it is classed as a “Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project” and any decision will be made by the Secretary of State for Transport after the recommendation is made by the Planning Inspectorate following the Examination. 

Chair of the HNRFI Working Group for the Borough Council, Councillor Paul Williams said:

Officers and councillors will carefully scrutinise the developer’s proposals and expect to comment comprehensively on the scale, scope and impact of the scheme.

If the application is accepted, we remain deeply concerned about the huge environmental impact this will have on Burbage Common and particularly the impact on the local area of the anticipated up to 16 freight trains a day with the consequential associated 50,000 daily HGV movements on the local area and I know this concerns local residents too. We remain committed to opposing these plans.