A PUBLIC consultation is today being launched into a six million sq ft rail freight exchange in South Derbyshire which could create 7,000 new jobs.
Property giants Goodman Shepherd is proposing to develop a Strategic Rail Freight Interchange (SRFI) on a 630-acre site by the A50 and A38 at Egginton and Etwall Common.
The East Midlands Intermodal Park (EMIP) would allow goods to be moved between rail and road networks and could create 7,000 once fully developed.
Members of the public are now being encouraged to take part in the first stage of consultation on the proposal, which would see an investment of £250 million in the area.
Ian Pritchard, of Goodman Shepherd, said: “The area is an important centre of manufacturing and at the heart of the UK’s rail industry.
“We believe that the EMIP represents a major opportunity to deliver thousands of jobs, helping the area to thrive and contributing to Derbyshire’s ambitious growth plans.
“The project represents an investment of at least £250 million which could deliver substantial benefits to businesses in the region enabling them to sustainably transport goods across the UK by rail.
“We believe it is important to get local views at an early stage and we are undertaking two stages of consultation on the proposals.
“The first stage will provide an opportunity for local people and businesses to feed back on our initial masterplan options for the site before we develop the scheme further, with a second stage of consultation later in the year.”
Due to the project’s potential importance in helping meet government policy objectives, EMIP meets the criteria to be classed as a ‘Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project’.
Rather than going through the local authority like most planning applications, Goodmand Shepherd will need to make an application for a development consent order to the Planning Inspectorate, with the final decision being made by the Secretary of State for Transport.
If approved, construction on the project could begin in 2016, with the intermodal terminal operational by 2018.
Anyone who would like to know more about the project is available by calling 0800 170 1418 or visiting www.emipark.co.uk