'Nationally important' Network Rail facility blocked over air quality concerns

Plans for a “nationally important” concrete railway sleeper manufacturing facility in the West Midlands have been refused, after planning officers warned that insufficient information had been submitted to demonstrate that the development would not be harmful to the public or the wider environment.

British railway operator Network Rail had sought permission to construct a concrete railway sleeper manufacturing facility to produce 600,000 sleepers per annum on a 5.85-hectare site at Bescot railway sidings in Wednesbury. 

Network Rail argued that delivery of the facility was of “national importance”. It says that it requires one million sleepers to be produced per annum, but one of its two existing facilities has recently closed because the site is required for the HS2 north-south rail-link. 

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