£40m engineering plant protests

MORE than 300 people packed a public meeting in Sheffield in protest at controversial plans to build a huge new rail engineering centre on green space near their homes.

Tuesday, 11th September 2007, 12:22 pm
Updated Wednesday, 12th September 2007, 10:44 am

The 'Stop Them in Their Tracks' campaign group is battling Network Rail's scheme to create the centre on greenbelt land off Woodhouse Lane, Beighton.

Campaigner Debbie Piper said today around 350 people attended the meeting at Woodhouse Mill Working Men's Club.

"We had a very good turnout. There were a lot of people in the area that didn't know about this - they were under the impression it was Woodhouse Station that was going to be rebuilt. We have got a lot of people willing to actively campaign against this development.

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"We have received hundreds of letters of objection and people are prepared to get out there and encourage others to sign petitions which is very encouraging."

The developers say the 40 million centre, which will be the new national hub for maintaining Network Rail's fleet of engineering trains and on-track plant and machinery, will bring 150 highly skilled jobs to the area

If constructed, the building will be 60ft high and cover an area the size of five football pitches.

A planning application is expected to go before Sheffield Council in October.

See tomorrow's Star for reaction to the plans.