The Leader of Blaby District Council, Councillor Terry Richardson, together with local ward members in the area say they are unlikely to support current proposals for the new Rail Freight Interchange that is planned for a site near Elmesthorpe in the district of Blaby.
Although the land lies within the district, due to the size of the project the Secretary of State would decide if the plans will go ahead and not the District Council. Blaby District Council’s Planning team would only be able to produce a technical response to the application.
Whilst there could be a substantial benefit to the Council in the form of increased Business Rates, Councillor Richardson is firmly of the opinion that the current proposal would have a detrimental impact to a large number of residents in the district.
Councillor Richardson said: “I have had time to consider the information available and have reservations about the development, it is my opinion that:-
“The road structure would struggle to cope with the increased vehicle movements with Junction 21 of the M1 already at a standstill at several parts of the day due to current capacity.
“Substantial” impact on villages
“The impact on nearby villages would be substantial especially with the limited road infrastructure in the area. This has already caused major traffic issues to the residents which would be exacerbated by the plans.
“Whilst the project could create a substantial number of jobs, these are unlikely to be filled by the local population with the low levels of unemployment within the district.
“With the proposed size of the development in a rural area there would be a considerable detrimental impact to the visual amenity and green space.
“Should the Secretary of State be minded to approve the application, substantial infrastructure would need to be provided prior to the commencement of the development.
“The local County Councilllor, Councillor Maggie Wright has also advised me that she fully supports these comments, together with local Ward members Councillor Sheila Scott, Councillor Iain Hewson and Councillor Deanne Woods.
“Collectively, we will carefully monitor all activities on these plans going forward”
Further consultation will be conducted by the development company, dbsymmetry in the Autumn prior to the submission of any planning application to the Secretary of State and residents are encouraged to participate and make their views known.