IWA rails against freight terminal
A PROPOSED NEW rail freight terminal in Northamptonshire would “irrevocably damage the immediate canal environment”, according to the Inland Waterways Association’s Northampton Branch.
The eight million square-foot Rail Central scheme would occupy most of the land between Blisworth and Milton Malsor, including the length of the Grand Union main line from near Blisworth village to Gayton Junction and the Northampton Arm from the junction for some distance towards Rothersthorpe Locks.
The plans have also generated considerable local opposition. While the waterways lobby can claim an earlier local success in getting the 1980s A43 plans altered to reduce the impact on the canal, this is on a different scale: the ultimate decision is likely to be made by central Government which supports transfer of long-distance freight to rail. BULBOURNE WORKSHOP, WHICH used to build lock gates, is to be redeveloped into new housing – but the historic buildings are to be retained, and the Canal & River Trust is asking for comments on the plans.
Closed down when British Waterways rationalised its workshops in 2003, part of the site alongside the Grand Union’s Tring summit remained an operational yard for CRT, while part has been used as a sculpture and blacksmithing workshop, but the majority is vacant and the heritage structures are in need of investment.
The plans by CRT’s H2O joint venture include converting the listed buildings to living accommodation, building new housing, a new footbridge and retention of the CRT depot. See bulbourneyard.co.uk.