Rail depot set to create the ‘wrong type of jobs’

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PLANS for a large new rail depot in the east end of Sheffield, to take delivery of resurfacing materials for the city’s roads as part of the £2 billion repair programme, are being opposed by the organisation with the job of driving regeneration in the region.

The proposed location at Tinsley Marshalling Yards is in an Enterprise Zone, which is earmarked for modern manufacturing and technology jobs, says the Local Enterprise Partnership for the Sheffield City Region.

The agency has lodged an objection with the council, which will decide whether to grant planning permission for the depot, which is designed to receive the huge amount of aggregates needed to resurface 1,200 miles of highway, using rail instead of lorries.

LEP chairman James Newman said the proposed development ‘is not consistent’ with the Government’s vision of an enterprise zone.

The zone focuses on establishing a modern manufacturing and technology growth area and offers financial help towards plant and machinery to create jobs and encourage related supply chain development, Mr Newman said.

Sheffield City Region LEP said it ‘would encourage the applicant to work with the local planning authority to identify a more suitable site, which is not part of the Enterprise Zone’.

But there are few vacant sites close to railway lines.

The depot is planned for Tinsley Marshalling Yards by subcontractor Aggregate Industries Limited because of the connection to the rail network, which means aggregate for the roads programme would not have to be brought into the city by lorry – giving a large environmental benefit.

Sladen Estates, landowners, agents and developers for the site, say they fully support the application by Aggregate Industries.

In a letter to the council, Sladen said the scheme would ‘assist in the regeneration of the area through employment generation and the improvement of infrastructure’.

The planning application is being considered by Sheffield Council and a date has not yet been set for a decision on the scheme.