A NEW rail freight interchange attracting “major inward investment” could be built on the site of a former coal mine in the North Yorkshire countryside.

Haworth Group is expected to submit a planning application to develop the former Gascoigne Wood site off New Lennerton Lane in Sherburn-in-Elmet.

The land regeneration company applied in 2019 to build on the site, which is next to Sherburn Airfield, but their plans were rejected by Selby District Council and then by government inspectors on appeal.

The new plans would see the creation of 1.8 million sq ft of employment development, which would be linked to the existing railway, according to a briefing note for members of the council.

The older plans encompassed both greenfield and brownfield land, with building on greenfield land prompting concerns from councillors.

The new plans are only for the brownfield part of the site.

A spokeswoman for Haworth told councillors on Wednesday: “We have listened – we have taken on board your concerns.”

The note to councillors states: “The proposals seek to capitalise on the unique rail connectivity and the site has the ability to attract major inward investment and deliver supply to meet the projected demand arising from rail freight growth in the UK. 

"The rail connection presents a unique opportunity for businesses and a significant advantage for Selby in attracting businesses that cannot be located anywhere else in the region.” 

Advertising materials produced by Haworth boast that the hectare site is a “recognised distribution location with excellent access to the A1(M) and M62 motorways.”

The nearby Sherburn Enterprise Park is home to Debenhams, Eddie Stobart, Legal and General and Sainsbury’s, among others companies.

Haworth’s previous proposals were rejected by a planning inspector in 2020, who took into account the rural area and the proximity to nearby Selby and Sherburn-in-Elmet.

“It is physically and visually separated from existing and permitted employment development”, he said. 

“The appeal proposal would result in a significant encroachment of built development into open countryside.”