Residents urged to have their say on Rail Freight plans

Published Wednesday, 12 January 2022

The public consultation portal for the Hinckley National Rail Freight Interchange (HNRFI) is now closed. Please see below for the original article.

Map for the HNRFI consultationThe public consultation for the Hinckley National Rail Freight Interchange has begun today.

Tritax Symmetry’s consultation on their Rail Freight Interchange proposals is now open for residents to have their say over the next eight weeks.

Information on the proposals can be found online or via the Community Information line on 0844 556 3002. Comments can be made until 8 April 2022.

The proposed site 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. 

The HNRFI is proposed to include:

  • New rail infrastructure off the Leicester to Hinckley railway
  • A rail port capable of accommodating up to 16 trains per day
  • Up to 850,000 m2 of buildings for logistics use 
  • Lorry park with welfare facilities and HGV fuelling facilities
  • Provision of south facing slip roads on to Junction 2 of the M69 
  • A new link road from the modified M69 Junction 2 to the B4668/A47 Leicester Road
  • Improvements to existing highway junctions in the area around the site
  • Landscaping including footpath and cycle links

It is understood that up to 16.18 hectares (equivalent to 40 acres) of land would be used for the construction of a rail terminal for the loading and unloading of freight trains under the proposals. 

Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council and Blaby District Council are statutory consultees and will not be deciding the application and any comments or questions should be directed to Tritax Symmetry representatives. 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.

As well as a website, the developers will also be holding a number of public events for people to take a look at the plans and talk to Tritax Symmetry representatives. These events are planned to be held both in public and virtually, depending on any potential Covid-19 restrictions.

In the Hinckley and Bosworth area, the consultation public events are as follows:

  • Burbage Millennium Hall, Monday 24 Jan, 3pm to 8pm 
  • George Ward Centre, Barwell, Friday 28 Jan, 2pm to 8pm
  • St Francis Community Centre, Hinckley, Saturday 29 Jan, 10am to 1pm
  • Ashby Road Sports Club, Hinckley, Monday 31 Jan, 2pm to 8pm

There will also be webinars on Tuesday 25 Jan from 2pm to 4pm and on Wednesday 2 Feb from 6pm to 8pm. Register to attend on their website.

Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council Leader Stuart Bray said:

I urge as many people as possible to take part in this consultation and review the fine detail of the consultation plan and documents.  One of the traffic mitigation options is to provide a link road from the proposed site to Leicester Road. This will effectively mean motorway traffic running directly adjacent to the Common. I am deeply concerned about the huge environmental impact this will have on Burbage Common and the local area and I know this will concern other people. We are also yet to see any figures about the projected lorry traffic in and out of the site, something which is a key issue for residents in the area.

While we will not be deciding any application, as a statutory consultee the council will be reviewing the plans and offering our own detailed responses to Tritax and the Planning Inspectorate. The Borough Council remains firmly committed to opposing these plans.

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

During the consultation, councillors will be robustly challenging the information made available about this proposal and pressing for this to be shared with the public so that they can fully assess the impact this development will have on our environment and quality of life.