Two rounds of statutory consultation on Rail Central have now taken place. In April to October 2016 we held our first phase of formal public consultation, during which we held a series of public exhibitions and invited feedback on our draft plans. We then updated the plans and published them at a second phase of consultation, which took place between 15 March and 23 April 2018.
The NSIP planning process specifically requires Ashfield Land and Gazeley (as the applicants for Rail Central) to carry out statutory consultation as defined by a document called a Statement of Community Consultation (SoCC). The SoCC essentially prescribes how, when and where consultation will take place ensuring that it is straightforward for people who want to participate, whatever their views. South Northamptonshire Council, Northamptonshire County Council and Northampton Borough Council have been consulted on the SoCC, have provided input to the proposed approach and approved it. We are undertaking a comprehensive programme of public consultation in line with the requirements of the NSIP planning process.
Phase One formal consultation
The Rail Central team has carried out extensive consultation with stakeholders since 2015, including the local community, county, borough and parish councils and statutory consultees. In April 2016, the initial draft plans for Rail Central were presented to the public at a series of public exhibitions, which formed part of a statutory process of community consultation known as Phase One Consultation. As part of that consultation, we published updated illustrative plans and new visual material in summer 2016. This first phase of consultation ended on 21 October 2016.
Feedback from Phase One consultation has helped us to shape the plans, contributing to the design process alongside the outputs of our technical work and surveys. We have carried out and completed a full spectrum of technical work, such as ground surveys, environmental and ecological assessments and highways assessments and are progressing with updated plans.
Consultation with key stakeholders has been ongoing on an informal basis through regular meetings to update on our technical work and to respond to any queries. We are continuing to engage with local communities and their representatives. We have also published a series of community newsletters, the most recent in March 2018.
Phase Two formal consultation
Phase Two consultation took place between 15 March and 23 April 2018.
At this consultation Ashfield Land and Gazeley GLP showed how the plans have developed since the earlier round of consultation (Phase One.) This website and the public exhibition panels (available in the project library) provide an introduction to the project and explain our approach to managing key issues such as access, highways and the environment. A number of additional documents was published as part of this consultation and are available in the project library of this website. These include the:
- Preliminary Environmental Information Report (PEIR), Non-technical summary and technical appendices
- Draft Planning Statement and draft Design and Access Statement
- Parameters Plan, Illustrative Master Plan, and Illustrative Landscape and Ecological Master Plan
- Land Plans