More questions than answers on rail hub - MP

Deepings MP John Hayes
Deepings MP John Hayes

Campaigners against a planned rail hub in Deeping St Nicholas have a strong ally in the shape of South Holland and The Deepings MP John Hayes.

The Government minister met with a small group of angry residents who went to see him at the Houses of Parliament last Tuesday at the same time as Deeping St Nicholas Parish Council prepared to put its case for a rethink.

Residents fear the Rail Freight Interchange (RFI), which South Holland District Council wants in order to attract new businesses to the area, will lead to the “industrialisation” of Deeping St Nicholas through increased traffic on the A1175.

But in its response to the South East Lincolnshire Local Plan, which includes the proposed rail hub, the parish council said in a report: “The development of a Rail Freight Interchange on land so close to the village will have a severe detrimental effect on the daily lives of residents because of the planned 24-hour nature of its activities.

“It will bring air, light and noise pollution to the people of Deeping St Nicholas and also have an impact by the comings and goings of heavy goods vehicles and trains.

“The Deeping St Nicholas community does not share the vision of South Holland District Council for an RFI in the parish and would therefore request that the proposal for inclusion in the South East Lincolnshire Local Plan be removed.”

After meeting residents, Mr Hayes said: “I have grave concerns about whether a rail hub is appropriate for Deeping St Nicholas and I will be making representations on that basis to South Holland District Council.

“I’m not confident about the location and I think it will be an extremely expensive project at a time when councils would be looking at making economies.”