The Planning Inspectorate will start its examination of the Hinckley National Rail Freight Interchange scheme on 12 September.
The examination into the 662-acre scheme, which is earmarked for the north-east of Hinckley - partially within the Hinckley and Bosworth Borough with the majority situated within the Blaby District – and based close to Junction 2 of the M69 to the north of Burbage Common, will take around six months.
Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council and Blaby District Council are statutory consultees and 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.
The process starts with what is termed the Preliminary Meeting, scheduled for 12 September, to be held at the Leicester Tigers Conference and Events Venue at Welford Road in Leicester. Meetings at the same venue on the following two days are also scheduled to begin consideration of the Development Consent Order (13th) and Compulsory Acquisition (14th).
This will be a public meeting and anyone who has registered their interest in being involved in the HNRFI examination process is entitled to attend. People will also be able to join the meeting on Microsoft Teams if they cannot attend in person.
The preliminary meeting will discuss procedural matters only and these will include a schedule for the examination process, deadlines for various formal submissions and topics to be covered.
Anyone wishing to attend in person or speak on the procedural matters during the meeting must register with the Planning Inspectorate by Tuesday 5 September.
People will also need to register if they intend to speak while using Teams, however, they do not need to register if they just want to watch the meeting online.
Whether they attend or not, interested parties will then be sent details of how to take part in the examination.
Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council has already made representations to the Inspectorate around the adequacy of the pre submission consultation undertaken by Tritax and latterly on Relevant Representations, all of which can be seen on the Inspectorate’s website. The council will begin preparing its Local Impact Report and Written Representation, which the Inspectorate requires by late October. These will outline the council’s overall position on the acceptability of the scheme.
Previous representations made by the council have highlighted concerns and shortcomings with the proposal.
Chair of the HNRFI Working Group for the Borough Council, Councillor Paul Williams said:
We are now heading into a critical time for this proposed development when the scheme’s plans are looked at in detail.
As a council we are spending a significant amount of time and effort working closely with colleagues at Blaby and the County Council and collaborating with specialist consultants for certain specific areas of expertise such as the impact on socioeconomics, health, landscape, and ecology. Thus, ensuring we make informed and valid responses on any aspects which are of concern.
I urge all interested parties to take the opportunity to attend meetings, either in person or online, and ensure they speak up and make their own responses and voice any concerns. This key examination period offers the opportunity for us to speak out on any areas with which we may take issue.
For more information on National Infrastructure Planning (infrastructure.planninginspectorate.gov.uk)
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