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Gailey Freight Hub: Second consultation launched on huge West Midlands Interchange

By Rob Golledge | South Staffordshire | Transport | Published:

A second public consultation has been launched over plans for a huge rail freight interchange in South Staffordshire.

Stop the Gailey Freight Hub protesters make their feelings known

The controversial scheme, dubbed the Gailey Freight Hub, will cover more than 700 acres and see up to 10 trains a day arrive at a proposed massive warehouse depot at Four Ashes.

More than 300 people commented on initial plans last year and bosses behind the project want to hear from the public again.

The proposed plan of the West Midlands Interchange rail freight hub at Gailey

Developers Four Ashes Ltd say the scheme could create more than 8,500 new jobs and generate around £420 million in the local economy.

But campaigners have said it will cause irreversible damage to the countryside and increase traffic and noise, particularly on the A449 and Gailey roundabout.

Stafford MP Jeremy Lefroy and South Staffordshire MP Gavin Williamson both oppose the plan.

Opposed - Stafford MP Jeremy Lefroy

The public consultation runs until Wednesday, August 30, with bosses hoping to submit plans to the government later this year.

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It will also generate around £420m of local economic activity each year and, through the supply chain, create up to £1.35bn of economic activity nationally.

Peter Frost, of Four Ashes Ltd, said: “Following our first round of consultation last year we have refined our plans.

"We are proposing a new through road that will be open to the public, and offers an alternative to the Gailey roundabout for traffic travelling between the A5 to the east and the A449 to the south.

A packed public meeting of campaigners against the planned interchange

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"We are also inviting the local community to comment on the proposals for local job creation, training and enhancements to the canal area as part of the wider application.

“We believe the West Midlands Interchange could be truly transformative for the local economy as well as unlocking growth in the West Midlands as a whole.”

The project team will hold a series of public exhibitions, starting next week. These are:

  • Tuesday, July 11: Calf Heath Village Hall, 3pm to 8pm
  • Wednesday, July 12: Brewood Jubilee Hall, 2pm to 7pm
  • Thursday, July 20: Haling Dene Centre, Penkridge, 3pm to 8pm
  • Friday, July 21: Calf Heath Village Hall, 2pm to 7pm
  • Saturday, July 22: Coven Memorial Hall, 10am to 2pm
Rob Golledge

By Rob Golledge
@golledge_star

Part of the Express & Star special projects team responsible for investigations and major stories from politics to counter terrorism

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