Council debate on ‘blight’ of rail hub

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THE controversial decision to earmark land in Deeping St Nicholas for a rail freight interchange will be the subject of a debate by councillors, after members raised concerns that the development is creating a “blight”.

Members of South Holland Council chose to make the rail hub their item for debate at their full meeting in April, and some members fear the council has made the wrong choice and could be open to big compensation claims as a result of its actions.

Last year the council selected land parallel to the A16 as its preferred site for a possible rail hub – an industrial facility that would see produce brought in and out by rail instead of road.

Councillors Doug Best and Bryan Alcock raised the matter as they feel that decision will cause a “planning blight” for the area now it has been chosen – leaving the council open to claims the choice has affected house prices.

Coun Alcock said: “There is an issue that may affect the finances of this council that we didn’t take into consideration.”

The rail hub would be developed by a firm in the private sector and the council says it is waiting for a company to lodge plans. Coun Roger Gambba-Jones confirmed no contact has been made with Land Registry over the site.

Coun Francis Biggadike asked how the members could discuss a “planning blight” when no planning application has been made.

Coun Alcock replied: “I think you have hit the nail on the head. We have been told that because there is no planning application it has had no adverse affect on people living in the area. For the information we have ascertained I believe it does.”

The debate will be aired in the chamber at Priory Road on April 6.