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Delivering key infrastructure assessments for proposed strategic rail freight interchange

7th Oct 2016

Hydrock has been appointed by Ashfield Land to deliver key aspects of the pre-planning work for Rail Central, a proposed new Strategic Rail Freight Interchange (SRFI) with associated logistics/warehouse buildings in Northamptonshire.

Rail Central is classified as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) under the Planning Act 2008. This means the process for determining planning consent will be a Development Consent Order (DCO) which will be informed by the current consultation programme that Ashfield Land has begun with the publication of a Statement of Community Consultation (SoCC). A number of consultation events are also taking place within the neighbouring communities.

The proposed site has strategic connectivity to key transport infrastructure – namely the West Coast Main Line, the Northampton Loop Line, the A43 and the M1.

Hydrock is supporting Ashfield Land with a range of assessments that cover flood risk, drainage studies, utilities, ground investigation and geotechnical advice.

Speaking about Hydrock’s role in the development programme, Dave Lawes, Strategic Projects Director at Hydrock said: “We are delighted to be involved with this prestigious project, delivering a range of technical skills to help inform our client, Ashfield Land with the strategic direction for the feasibility and development of this significant site. Ultimately, Rail Central will support the government’s agenda for moving more freight on rail which clearly has significant benefit for both the economy and the sustainability agenda.”

An SRFI is a freight interchange and logistics hub which is linked to both rail and road which helps to maximise efficiency and sustainability in how goods are moved from the point of supply to the point of demand. The Rail Central project is likely to provide up to 8 million sq ft of storage and distribution space with rail infrastructure, service depot, HGV facilities, associated access, ground works, highways, landscaping and other accompanying infrastructure works.

It is anticipated that the DCO will be submitted in the summer of 2017.