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Scottish ministers back rail freight project against advice of reporter

by on August 13, 2015

Plans for a massive new rail freight terminal at Bellshill in North Lanarkshire have been approved in principle by Scottish ministers against the recommendation of the reporter [Scottish planning inspectors are called reporters] from the Directorate for Planning and Environmental Appeals who dealt with the scheme’s appeal.

The proposals for an “inland port” providing some 200,000 square metres of distribution, service and logistics facilities co-located next to four new 775-metre Euro Standard railway sidings were refused by the local planning authority.

PD Stirling, which operates the existing Mossend Railhead in Bellshill, plans to expand the existing facilities by creating what is called the Mossend International Railfreight Park.

A government spokesman said: “Having carefully considered the reporter’s report and the issues raised in objections, Scottish ministers have decided to grant planning permission in principle for the expansion of the Mossend Railhead.

“National Planning Framework 3 (NPF3) and Scottish Planning Policy support modal shift of freight transport from road to rail.

“Mossend, along with Coatbridge and Grangemouth, is identified as an important interchange in the central belt.

“Ministers welcome the potential economic benefits of the proposal as well as the opportunity to enhance transport and green infrastructure in the local area.”

The reporter had recommended that the project should be refused because of green belt concerns and because the proposals were contrary to the local development plan.

View the press release

Roger Milne

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