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Rail Central Public Exhibition Open

Phase Two consultation starts with first of six Public Exhibitions taking place today

Rail Central, the proposed Strategic Rail Freight Interchange (SRFI) and logistics hub near Northampton, is holding the first of six public exhibitions today (Thursday 15 March) as it starts its Phase Two consultation.

Members of the community and people with an interest in the proposals are being invited to visit the public exhibitions to find out more about what is proposed, to see how the scheme has progressed since the Phase One consultation in 2016 and to participate in the consultation.

The first of the six public exhibitions across Blisworth, Milton Malsor, Roade and Towcester is taking place at The Walnut Tree Inn in Blisworth, open between 2pm and 8pm.

James Digby from Rail Central said: “With the public exhibitions starting today, we’re inviting people who are interested in the plans to come along, talk to the design team, find out more and provide their feedback. The purpose of the consultation is for us to understand how the proposals could be refined in line with feedback. We made some important changes following Phase One consultation and, before we submit the proposals, we’re interested in any other ideas people have which can make the scheme better.”

During the Phase One consultation, over 1,000 people attended the exhibitions providing feedback which resulted in a series of changes to the draft designs. These included landscaping, adjustments to road and access arrangements and changes to proposals for the area of the site west of the A43 (which is now proposed to be parkland and green open space).

The Phase Two consultation includes inviting feedback from the local community as well as a full range of stakeholders and organisations. More than 7,000 leaflets have been issued across Blisworth, Milton Malsor, Roade and Towcester to let people know about the proposals, the consultation and their opportunity to take part.

Times, dates and venues for the six Phase Two public exhibitions are:

Walnut Tree Inn
Thursday 15 March, 12pm – 8pm
21 Station Rd, Blisworth NN7 3DS
Milton Malsor Village Hall
Saturday 17 March, 12.30pm – 5.30pm
High Street, Milton Malsor, NN7 3AS
Roade Village Hall
Wednesday 21 March, 1pm – 7pm
Bailey Brooks Lane, Roade NN7 2LS
South Northamptonshire Council Chamber
Thursday 22 March, 1pm – 7pm
The Forum, Moat Lane, Towcester, NN12 6AD
Milton Malsor Village Hall
Friday 23 March, 2pm – 8pm
High Street, Milton Malsor, NN7 3AS
Blisworth Village Hall
Saturday 24 March, 10am – 4pm
19 Stoke Road, Blisworth NN7 3DB

If you cannot attend an exhibition the exhibition materials can also be viewed on this project website and at a range of advertised locations locally:

  • Northamptonshire County Council Offices
  • Northampton Borough Council Offices
  • Northamptonshire Central Library
  • Roade Library
  • Towcester Library
  • Hunsbury Library

The exhibitions will include representatives from Ashfield Land and Gazeley – who are now working in partnership to take the proposals for Rail Central forward – as well as from the technical and design team involved.

The Phase Two consultation sees the publication of a comprehensive range of planning, design and environmental information (called ‘Preliminary Environmental Information’). Included are detailed assessments of rail, highway, environmental, socio-economic and other factors which are all informing the overall design process.

The public exhibitions are one part of the overall Phase Two consultation which runs between 15 March and 23 April.

Following the consultation, Rail Central will assess all of the feedback and complete further design and technical work before submitting an application to the Planning Inspectorate (PINs).

The application is anticipated to be submitted in mid-summer. -ends-

Notes to Editors

Anyone wanting to participate in the consultation can submit feedback from 15 March via special feedback forms at the public exhibitions, by e-mailing or on-line at the Rail Central website ( or by post. All feedback needs to be provided in writing by 23 April.

The information published at Phase Two will include a full suite of technical reports and surveys together with non-technical summaries specifically designed to ensure as wide a range of people as want to can participate in the consultation.

Following the Phase Two consultation, all feedback will be reported in a Consultation Report which forms part of the submission documents when applying for a DCO.

The DCO application is expected to be submitted in mid-summer. It will be made to the Planning Inspectorate (PINs) which is the Government body responsible for Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects. PINs may then accept the application for Examination leading to a recommendation being made to the Secretary of State who will ultimately make the decision.

If approved, the earliest anticipated start of construction on site would be late 2019 with the potential for the first business occupiers to move in during 2021.

Full information on Rail Central including the Preliminary Environmental Information and other material for consultation can be found at

More information on the planning process for Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects is available at

Media Contact

For any further information, please contact Ben Copithorne or Richard Pia at Camargue on Tel: 020 7636 7366 /

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