We have submitted a Scoping Report for a prospective Strategic Rail Freight Interchange – Hinckley National Rail Freight Interchange (HNRFI). The proposals would deliver a multi-purpose cargo interchange and distribution facility, alongside new and improved rail and road connections, at junction 2 of the M69.
A Strategic Rail Freight Interchange, sometimes referred to as an ‘in-land port’, is a freight nexus which transfers cargo between the road and rail network. db symmetry’s proposals for Hinckley National Rail Freight Interchange would integrate with the existing Nuneaton to Felixstowe Railway line and connect to the road network via junction 2 of the M69. The site is located in what the UK logistics industry regards as the ‘Golden Triangle’. The East Midlands is home to a fifth of the UK’s manufacturing capability and 45% of British rail freight goes through the Midlands; db symmetry’s plans look to meet the needs of the logistics industry, including port operators, in serving manufacturers, distributors and retailers.
The proposed National Rail Freight Interchange would embrace Leicestershire’s strategic position and role in logistics throughout the UK and deliver thousands of new jobs for the region. The Midlands sits at the heart of the UK economy and the plans look to deliver much needed facilities to grow this sector as a major economic driver, and facilitate delivery of the Midlands Engine Strategy.
The site lies to the north-east of Hinckley town centre, bordered by the Nuneaton-Felixstowe railway line to the west, and the M69 motorway to the east. The proposals would deliver up to 850,000 sq m of built logistics space, which could attract a number of national and multi-national employers to the area. This would be served by an intermodal rail freight terminal, with rail-linked buildings provided according to demand.
The Scoping Report will establish the scope and level of detail of the information to be provided in the assessment of the project ahead of the proposals being formally submitted and is the first step towards beginning discussions with stakeholders. Due to the size of the proposals, the application will be classed as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) and will ultimately be determined by the Secretary of State for Transport.
Whilst the plans will be determined by the Government, the site is located within Blaby District Council and Leicestershire County Council, and closely borders Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council. As such, db symmetry will engage with officers and members at the local authorities to progress the proposals further.
Furthermore, db symmetry is committed to engaging with the local community and will be undertaking public consultation later in 2018. All feedback received during the consultation will be considered ahead of the plans being finalised. The final proposals are expected to be issued to the Planning Inspectorate in mid-2019.
We are extremely excited to have taken this first step on our journey towards developing plans for Hinckley National Rail Freight Interchange. Our ambitions could help to cement Leicestershire as a nexus of connectivity, establishing key pieces of infrastructure which would unlock jobs and training opportunities in the region for decades to come.
We are confident that our plans complement the County’s ambitions for regional growth, especially as the site is located within an identified key area of opportunity within the Leicester and Leicestershire Strategic Distribution Sector Study Final Report.
Whilst the plans are at the early stages, initial discussions are currently being held with key statutory stakeholders to progress the proposals further. We are also looking forward to showcasing our plans to local people later this year and listening to the views of the community on our exciting plans ahead of submitting our application to the Planning Inspectorate.”
Anyone interested in finding out more about the proposals are encouraged to visit the project website www.hinckleynrfi.co.uk. A member of the project team can also be contacted via the dedicated Community Information Line on 0844 556 3002 (Monday – Friday, 9:00am – 5:30pm).