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850 acre expansion for Daventry rail freight terminal

Words: Sam Waddicor

A Daventry rail freight interchange is the first in the country to secure a Development Consent Order (DCO) under the new procedure for infrastructure projects of national significance.

The Department of Transport approved the full development consent on 4 July following a public inquiry that finished in June.

The project, known as DIRFT III, is the third phase of the transport hub's development since it was first contructed in 1997. The developer, Prologis UK, claims the project will create around 9,000 jobs and, once completed, the hub will be capable of accommodating 32 trains a day. The development will also create eight million square feet of distribution space as part of the 345 hectares (850 acres) expansion.

Prologis UK were assited in securing the DCO by planning lawyer Marrons Shakespeares. Partner Morag Thomson said: "It is great to be involved in such a nationally significant scheme and, in particular, to see a novel application like this through from inception to consent. Due to the process being new there was no precedent to follow and so it required original thought and an innovative approach. In that sense the application was a trailblazer which others are likely to follow."

Managing director of Prologis UK, Andrew Griffiths, said: “Logistics plays a vital role in the UK economy, underpinning the success of many other sectors from retail and ecommerce to manufacturing.

“Since it is both more cost-effective and more carbon-efficient to transport freight by rail rather than by road, DIRFT provides the facilities necessary to service and support growth across the economy.”