Rail and road mounted track laying vehicles working on sidings at the SEGRO Logistics Park Northampton development

Northampton terminal leads the way in net-zero development

Rail and road mounted track laying vehicles working on sidings at the SEGRO Logistics Park Northampton development Image from Winvic / SEGRO media release

SEGRO, the developers behind the Logistics Park Northampton (SLPN), are claiming an environmental first for their strategic rail freight interchange. They claim that the freight terminal will be the company’s first UK multimodal logistics park to achieve net-zero carbon in its construction. They say that all the units and delivery of the supporting infrastructure will achieve that marque as a result of a pioneering partnership with primary contractor Winvic Construction. 

As part of the 464,500 m2 (five million square feet) of distribution space, the SLPN project will include a new 35-acre rail freight terminal. Work has already commenced on the tracks. The logistics park is adjacent to the M1 motorway, close to Northampton, in the heart of the so-called ‘golden triangle’ for logistics operations in the UK. The development, is expected to support over 7,000 jobs, according to the developers.

Intentions as originally stated

Main contractors Winvic, who have a string of logistics park developments under their belt, say they have collaborated with the developers over a combined vision for sustainable procurement and operations. SEGRO and Winvic will deliver the entire project, including all infrastructure and enabling works, at net-zero carbon. They say this has resulted in the terminal being an exemplar of their net-zero partnership. “We hope the scheme becomes a source of inspiration for net-zero in the construction industry”, said a company statement.

Aerial impression of the Northampton logistics park and rail freight terminal
Segro northampton SRFI (Winvic)

Some local concerns have been raised over the development, with doubts expressed in particular over the voracity of the rail freight intentions. As recently as last October, the local MP and leading politician Angela Leadsom, said residents had contact her over proposed changes to the development, which would see the rail element ditched. The developers though have reiterated their intentions as originally stated.

Rapid advances in construction

In line with the original Development Consent Order (DCO) for the terminal, works will include significant infrastructure improvement works, such as a highway bypass of Roade village, and improvements to trunk roads around the development, with extensive landscaping for good measure. Winvic for its part is committed to delivering the designated Strategic Rail Freight Interchange. Work has already commenced on the 35-acre site.

Diggers and land remediation equipment on site at Northampton rail freight park
Diggers and land remediation equipment from Winvic on site at the SEGRO Northampton rail freight park development

Multi-modal will be the mainstay of the park, with little expectation of bulk materials being handled, even at this stage. “Rapid advances in construction techniques and building design are enabling developers to deliver warehouse units more sustainably”, said Andrew Pilsworth, Managing Director, National Logistics at SEGRO. “[SLPN] will be the first time net-zero is achieved across an entire vast industrial site, including the delivery of all on-site and off-site supporting infrastructure. Land remediation is being undertaken on site. Salvaged materials, including brick, metals, broken concrete and wood are being utilised across the development. All materials – almost five million cubic metres – have been retained on site for landscaping bunds which has resulted in a saving of nearly 8,000 tonnes of carbon, say Winvic.

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Author: Simon Walton

Simon Walton is RailFreight's UK correspondent.

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