Thousands of jobs to created after DIRFT expansion get OK - The Rugby Observer

Thousands of jobs to created after DIRFT expansion get OK

Rugby Editorial 9th Jul, 2014 Updated: 27th Oct, 2016   0

THE expansion of Daventry International Rail Freight Terminal (DIRFT) creating the potential for 9,000 jobs has been given the go ahead.

Work could start on the third phase of the huge site – already home to the likes of Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Royal Mail – as soon as next year with the first warehouses ready to be occupied by 2016.

Although the long terms plans for another 14 warehouses over eight million square feet of land between the A5 and M1 south of Lilbourne next to the former BT masts site would see it developed over the next 15 to 20 years.

No names have been mooted as potential occupiers but bosses at owners Prologis have said they were confident of attracting more big names.

They also said an area of open space known as Lilbourne Meadows would be created first to act as what has been described as a natural buffer between the site and the village – something requested by people living in Lilbourne.

A lorry park is also in the plans to resolve problems of HGVs parking along existing roads.

Rugby MP Mark Pawsey told us: “The approval of the expansion of the DIRFT site is good news for my constituents as it will create more jobs in our local area.

“This site is also unique as there will be both residential and commercial development in the area meaning not only more jobs for local people but also the houses we need for hardworking families as well.

“However, this news does make the need for a footpath to be installed between Hillmorton and DIRFT even more urgent, and I will be writing to Warwickshire County Council again and local councillors to impress upon them my wish to see a footpath installed as a matter of the upmost urgency.”

DIRFT opened back in 1997 initially with 16 warehouses and has become the country’s most successful rail freight terminal with the second phase now nearing completion taking the job figure to 6,000 people.

Its expansion has been drawn up by Prologis with Rugby Radion Station Partnership which is responsible for the 6,200 homes also recent approved for the former old BT site after several years on the drawing board.

“We have been consulting with local stakeholders about our plans for DIRFT III for a number of years and we are delighted we are now in a position to attract new jobs to the Daventry and Rugby area,” said Robin Woodbridge, senior vice president at Prologis.

“With a new rail freight terminal and its strategic location at the crossroads of the M1, M6 and West Coast Mainline, DIRFT III is expected to become the pre-eminent rail freight interchange in the UK and arguably the premier facility of its type in Europe.”

Coun Chris Over, economic, regeneration and employment spokesman at Daventry District Council, which will rule on detailed planning applications, added: “This expansion reaffirms the area as an important, strategic location for an international business hub.

“It will be a real boost for local jobs and attracting fresh investment into our district which continue to be top priorities for this council. The road to rail option offered at this development is another important feature.”


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