Firstplan acted for Network Rail on three phases of development at Whitemoor Yard. Phase I involved establishing the second largest rail engineering supply depot in the UK, comprising 18km of track and sidings on 25ha of the site which was designated in the Local Plan as a Country Park. It took just 11 months from the initial pre-application meeting to the first train running into the site.
Firstplan subsequently gained consent for a second phase of development on the remaining 25ha of the site which has been developed as the National Track Materials Recycling Centre. The project represents a major step change in sustainable management of waste and the way Network Rail deals with the waste from its extensive track renewals programme. The full range of recycling activities has been brought together on the one site allowing significant reductions in waste, producing a range of recycled aggregate for the local construction industry as well as recycled rail and sleepers. The development of the facility was also been undertaken in a sustainable manner utilising recycled rail aggregate in the construction and chipping the surplus vegetation for use as fuel in a biomass energy plant.
A third phase of development secured consent for further sidings and an extension to an industrial building for the repair and recycling of rail switches and crossings.