A major rail interchange which could create thousands of jobs in the West Midlands looks set to become a reality.
The West Midlands Interchange (WMI) project was granted a ‘Development Consent Order’ by the Secretary of State for Transport in May, followed by a six-week period in which the decision could have been challenged in the High Court.
But now Four Ashes Ltd, the consortium behind project, is planning the next stage in the development after the judicial review period lapsed.
The organisation is currently drawing up plans to approach funders and development teams in order to market the site and start construction as soon as possible.
The WMI – which has been the subject of years of protest by local campaigners – is being built on 615 acres of land at the Four Ashes site near junction 12 of the M6 in Staffordshire.
The development is expected to create 8,550 direct jobs and generate an estimated £427m boost to the local economy.
It will include an intermodal freight terminal with direct connections to the West Coast Main Line, capable of accommodating up to 10 trains per day including container storage, HGV parking, rail control building and staff facilities as well as up to 743,200 sqm of rail-served warehousing and ancillary service buildings.
It will also involve work to create new road infrastructure and changes to the existing road infrastructure.