Parkside rail freight plans will face opposition

St Helens Star: Campaigners argue green belt scenery like this would be eroded if the Parkside plans go ahead Campaigners argue green belt scenery like this would be eroded if the Parkside plans go ahead

FRESH plans to build a huge rail freight terminal at the former Parkside pit site will face considerable opposition, campaigners have warned.

The Star revealed last week how the vision has been resurrected after St Helens Council and developers Langtree entered talks to buy the site.

Politicians have hailed the news, stating that it could create thousands of jobs and establish St Helens as an important location close to the M6 and West Coast mainline.

However, people who live close to the site fear it will have a huge impact on the quality of their lives and erode swathes of green belt.

David Critchley, who was on the committee of the Parkside Action Group, said: “No-one ever tells the full story. There are several hundred acres of green belt [on the site].

“In the past we have been vilified, saying we don’t care about jobs, but we are ordinary people and our quality of life is important, and this will have an impact on it.

“We have been here before. If it’s going to be like previous proposals it will be huge with access via the motorway. Has anyone seen the M6 at rush hour?

“Lorry drivers won’t sit there in queues, they will go through Newton. We just want someone to talk to us, to show us this is what it’s going to look like and the impact on the town.

“As residents we just want to make our feelings known. We have a point of view. We want to know the health implications and how many HGVs there will be.”

The announcement was met with cautious approval by the Green Party.

St Helens party leader Francis Williams welcomed investment in potential rail facilities to help take freight off the roads and reduce road haulage’s CO2 footprint, but believes there should be detailed consultation and local concerns should be addressed.

He said: “The Parkside site sits in a strategically-important spot where the West Coast Mainline, the M6 and Liverpool-Manchester rail line, with its connection to the port of Liverpool, all converge.

“While the site is within St Helens borough, it also borders Wigan and Warrington, so, if it went ahead, it would likely provide jobs for people from all three boroughs, and farther afield.

“While we support the initiative in principle, we will need to see and comment on detailed plans.

“We sympathise with local concerns over works traffic potentially clogging local roads in the construction phase, and urge that a rail head be established first, so that construction can rely as much on rail as possible.”

He said that once operational HGV access should be direct from the M6 only, and called for a permanent natural barrier along the west to shield the community from construction and operational disturbances.

Comments (8)

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12:53am Fri 17 Jan 14

Keva68 says...

“In the past we have been vilified, saying we don’t care about jobs, but we are ordinary people and our quality of life is important, and this will have an impact on it"

Shouldn't have purchased a house next to a massive piece of industrial land,a national mainline rail track and a major motorway all with ideal access to the industrial site.
Get it built and get some jobs into the area instead of being concerned about the odd HGV going past your house.
“In the past we have been vilified, saying we don’t care about jobs, but we are ordinary people and our quality of life is important, and this will have an impact on it" Shouldn't have purchased a house next to a massive piece of industrial land,a national mainline rail track and a major motorway all with ideal access to the industrial site. Get it built and get some jobs into the area instead of being concerned about the odd HGV going past your house. Keva68

10:16am Fri 17 Jan 14

N3WTON says...

A development on the footprint of the colliery would be welcome but a rail freight terminal would change Newton-le-Willows as we know it. I don't think there are many people that would be against a development that didn't wipe out the greenbelt. For most people, this has nothing to do with house prices but with the environmental impact for the town. Jobs are important and the right development that can bring this whilst protecting the greenbelt should be welcomed. NOT A FREIGHT TERMINAL!
A development on the footprint of the colliery would be welcome but a rail freight terminal would change Newton-le-Willows as we know it. I don't think there are many people that would be against a development that didn't wipe out the greenbelt. For most people, this has nothing to do with house prices but with the environmental impact for the town. Jobs are important and the right development that can bring this whilst protecting the greenbelt should be welcomed. NOT A FREIGHT TERMINAL! N3WTON

12:51pm Fri 17 Jan 14

Keva68 says...

There are miles of fields in the area losing a couple won't do any harm to create jobs.
Used to be a big smelly polluting pit there a Rail Terminal is a hundred times better for the environment.
There are miles of fields in the area losing a couple won't do any harm to create jobs. Used to be a big smelly polluting pit there a Rail Terminal is a hundred times better for the environment. Keva68

1:17pm Fri 17 Jan 14

N3WTON says...

A rail freight terminal would cost us acre upon acre of greenbelt and countryside. If you have seen the original Astral plans, the proposal would wipe out the whole of Parkside. This subject has been heavily discussed on a Newton facebook group, to the tune of over 800 comments. Nearly everyone that has objected to the Freight Terminal hasn't objected to creating jobs, they welcome the idea. Development should be restricted to the Colliery footprint and the greenbelt could be preserved for the towns people to enjoy. This has nothing to do with house prices, the environmental impact will be huge. Newton is already subject to an Air Quality Management action plan. I can't understand how the council aim to meet the objectives within this plan whilst encouraging a development of this magnitude. Some residents seem to believe that because HGV's would be encouraged to access the site via the M6 and not down the A49 that CO2 emissions wouldn't cause the town a problem. Considering that the M6 flyover at Southworth Road is highlighted as one of the biggest problem areas for Air Quality, the increase in HGV's on this section of the M6 would only make resolving this problem even more difficult.

By all means develop Parkside and create jobs but let the town keep the little greenbelt it has left.
A rail freight terminal would cost us acre upon acre of greenbelt and countryside. If you have seen the original Astral plans, the proposal would wipe out the whole of Parkside. This subject has been heavily discussed on a Newton facebook group, to the tune of over 800 comments. Nearly everyone that has objected to the Freight Terminal hasn't objected to creating jobs, they welcome the idea. Development should be restricted to the Colliery footprint and the greenbelt could be preserved for the towns people to enjoy. This has nothing to do with house prices, the environmental impact will be huge. Newton is already subject to an Air Quality Management action plan. I can't understand how the council aim to meet the objectives within this plan whilst encouraging a development of this magnitude. Some residents seem to believe that because HGV's would be encouraged to access the site via the M6 and not down the A49 that CO2 emissions wouldn't cause the town a problem. Considering that the M6 flyover at Southworth Road is highlighted as one of the biggest problem areas for Air Quality, the increase in HGV's on this section of the M6 would only make resolving this problem even more difficult. By all means develop Parkside and create jobs but let the town keep the little greenbelt it has left. N3WTON

3:41pm Fri 17 Jan 14

CheesyBeanz says...

Who cares about Newton anyway. It's a dump and a bit more pollution won't really make it any worse, it can't get any worse. (My point of view)

Stop moaning and get the terminal built and lets have those jobs and the massive boost the the local economy. We can worry about pollution later and wagons going along the A49. There are plenty of fields for you Newton guys to look at. The country would die on it's backside if we didn't build on the odd piece of greenbelt.
Who cares about Newton anyway. It's a dump and a bit more pollution won't really make it any worse, it can't get any worse. (My point of view) Stop moaning and get the terminal built and lets have those jobs and the massive boost the the local economy. We can worry about pollution later and wagons going along the A49. There are plenty of fields for you Newton guys to look at. The country would die on it's backside if we didn't build on the odd piece of greenbelt. CheesyBeanz

5:44pm Fri 17 Jan 14

Keva68 says...

Again you used to have a big polluting pit there ,miles of fields are surrounding Newton losing a few won't do any harm in the grand scheme of things it's an ideal location.
The move can only be a good thing in the current economic climate ,you don't get prosperous looking at fields.
Again you used to have a big polluting pit there ,miles of fields are surrounding Newton losing a few won't do any harm in the grand scheme of things it's an ideal location. The move can only be a good thing in the current economic climate ,you don't get prosperous looking at fields. Keva68

6:16pm Mon 20 Jan 14

Bill Bradbury says...

Opposition? Am I surprised? The Parkside site is a nature reserve and contains many wild flowers and rare frog species. We could use it for Fracking if all else fails!!
Opposition? Am I surprised? The Parkside site is a nature reserve and contains many wild flowers and rare frog species. We could use it for Fracking if all else fails!! Bill Bradbury

10:34pm Wed 22 Jan 14

sunshineandshowers says...

Am I missing something a multi million pound company felt a rail freight terminal couldn't be proftable so why would a smaller company and a council think they could make it work?
Am I missing something a multi million pound company felt a rail freight terminal couldn't be proftable so why would a smaller company and a council think they could make it work? sunshineandshowers

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