Charlie Hopkins
Planning and environmental consultant

Kenyon Junction Public Inquiry: February 2000

Steam locomotive on a section of railway track.

This Inquiry was linked to the Xanadu Public Inquiry, held in Leigh, Lancs. The Xanadu application was a proposal to construct W. Europe's largest indoor real snow centre and associated retail development. Charlie provided advice and assistance to the No Xanadu Campaign at this Inquiry.

The Kenyon Junction application was a proposal to re-open a railway station closed during the Beeching era and to construct a park-and-ride scheme to serve the Xanadu development, which due to an apparent oversight on the part of the developers had no provision for access by public transport.

Charlie provided representation at the Inquiry for a local residents' group opposed to the development, calling lay and expert witnesses on green transport policy, nature conservation and ecology.

The proposed site lay within the Green Belt, and had, since its closure as a station in the 1960s, been re-colonised and re-vegetated by a wide range of flora and fauna, providing a vital oasis of nature conservation interest in an otherwise heavily urbanised landscape.

Charlie produced evidence to show that the proposal would have a negligible impact on traffic reduction, serious adverse impacts on the Green Belt, a failure to satisfy the requirements of the Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations, and a failure to adequately consider alternative sites which would have lesser impacts.

In August 2001, the Secretary of State refused to grant permission for the developments at Xanadu and Kenyon Junction.