Sunday 23rd Oct 2016 - Logistics Manager

Kent rail freight bonanza

Kent is now the preferred location for not one but two major rail freight terminals. Kent International Gateway at Bearsted near Maidstone, which is currently going through a public inquiry, and Kent Rail & Freight Terminal (KRAFT) in Borough Green, which has just been publicly announced by Cemex UK.
AXA Real Estate Investment Managers is promoting the 275-acre Kent International Gateway freight terminal near Junction 8 of the M20 motorway between Hollingbourne and Bearsted.
The outline proposals for a rail/road freight interchange include four million sq ft of rail-linked warehousing and offices. As well as earthworks, acoustic measures, retaining walls, access works with internal roads and bridges.
KRAFT is proposing a 250-acre freight terminal in Borough Green and has yet to submit an application. However, the landowners Cemex UK and Borough Green Sandpits will make representations at the forthcoming Kent International Gateway (KIG) Public Inquiry.
“If KIG is approved, then the proposals in the format and on the scale currently proposed, which includes a rail freight interchange, aggregates terminal and bypass at Borough Green and Platt, would not go ahead.
“However, the consortium would still propose to examine the potential for other uses for the site. The project team is currently assessing the viability for a smaller scale facility, which focuses primarily on handling aggregates brought in via rail from Europe, with much smaller requirement for warehousing and using the existing road network.”
Many believe that the KRAFT scheme is much better placed as a rail freight terminal interchange than KIG as it is closer to the M25, is a larger site and can therefore expand, is on sandpits and quarries and is already an industrial site.
Local communities oppose both schemes.