Stourton is set to get a new inland port as plans for freight traffic to return to our waterways move forward.
A planning application has been submitted to create two new wharfs on the River Aire at Stourton capable of handling up to 200,000 tonnes a year of bulk cargoes such as gravel, aggregates, steel, timber and shipping containers.
The Canal & River Trust has submitted the application for land off Skelton Grange Road near to Thwaite Mills on land formerly part of the Copperworks site.
Steve Higham, service and outcomes development manager at Canal & River Trust, said:
“With, increasing pressure on our road and rail network, navigations such as the Aire & Calder from Leeds to Goole present fantastic opportunities for cutting the costs and environmental impact of transporting goods.
“This is why we have developed proposals for an inland port in Leeds, with funding and support from West Yorkshire Combined Authority. We believe this facility would pave the way for further development of the inland waterway freight sector across the UK and internationally.”
Alex Veitch, Freight Transport Association lead on water freight and coordinator of Freight by Water, added:
“There’s never been a better time for businesses to explore waterways as a means of freight transport. Waterways provide businesses with the perfect opportunity to reduce costs and environmental impact and should be an integral part of any effective multi-modal logistics strategy. However, further investment in infrastructure is desperately needed for it to reach its full potential.”
The proposal provides for the construction of two wharves and associated goods storage areas, a new vehicular access off Skelton Grange Road with internal turning space and staff welfare and parking facilities.
The planned development will not affect public access along the River Aire corridor as the existing route is located on the opposite side of the Navigation via the Trans Pennine Trail. It is unlikely to cause any noise nuisance as the nearest residential property to the site is over a kilometre away.
The River Aire was made navigable up to Leeds as part of the Aire & Calder Navigation and the Hunslet and Knostrop sections date back to 1779. At its peak more than 1.5 million tons of coal per year was transported along it.
You can find full details of the planning application on Leeds City Council’s planning portal here. Comments on the application can be submitted up until Wednesday 16 January 2019.