Plan­ning In­spec­torate to ex­am­ine freight ter­mi­nal plan

Rail (UK) - - Network News -

The Plan­ning In­spec­torate (PI) is to ex­am­ine the De­vel­op­ment Con­sent Or­der ap­pli­ca­tion for a pro­posed rail freight ter­mi­nal in South Stafford­shire.

Should the ap­pli­ca­tion for the West Mid­lands In­ter­change (WMI) at Gai­ley be ap­proved, an in­ter­modal ter­mi­nal able to han­dle up to ten trains per day with around 743,000m2 of rail-served hous­ing will be built along­side the West Coast Main Line be­tween Wolver­hamp­ton and Stafford. It will have 775-me­tre re­cep­tion sid­ings.

The devel­oper, Four Ashes, claims the project could cre­ate more than 8,000 jobs and gen­er­ate £427 mil­lion of eco­nomic ac­tiv­ity each year lo­cally and £912m na­tion­ally. Be­cause the WMI con­sti­tutes a Na­tion­ally Sig­nif­i­cant In­fra­struc­ture Project, it is con­sid­ered un­der the Plan­ning Act 2008 rather than the nor­mal town and coun­try plan­ning route.

The PI will in­vite stake­hold­ers and the pub­lic to reg­is­ter their in­ter­est in par­tic­i­pat­ing in the ex­am­i­na­tion. It will then set a timetable for the ex­am­i­na­tion, which is ex­pected to last six months.

The project has en­coun­tered op­po­si­tion from lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties op­posed to the pos­si­ble en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact of con­struc­tion, but the de­vel­op­ers ar­gue that there are no bet­ter lo­ca­tions for a rail freight ter­mi­nal in the area.

If built, the ter­mi­nal is ex­pected to be run­ning at full ca­pac­ity by around 2035.

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