Local MPs Jeff Ennis and Caroline Flint MP urged the Government to leave Doncaster to give a green light to the Rossington Inland Port.
Ms Flint told Communities Minister Shahid Malik: “the proposal creates 3-5,000 jobs within the development directly accessible from a former mining community where high levels of deprivation, including employment deprivation exist and where future alternative prospects are limited.”
Mr Ennis told the Minister that communities like Rossington, Denaby Main, Mexborough and Goldthorpe were all still suffering from a legacy of pit closures by the Thatcher Government, saying “this showed that Doncaster and Barnsley were over-dependent on coal. This is an opportunity to diversify the economy.”
The MPs told the Minister that the proposal would create 3-5,000 jobs; would contribute funds to the FARRRS link road; bring £300million private investment into the area and could take 5.5million lorry miles off the roads – saving 425 tonnes of carbon per year.
Ms Flint acknowledged that the site for the InlandPort sits on greenbelt land, next to the Rossington colliery spoil heap and the M18; and noted that the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust had withdrawn its objection to the scheme. The Don valley MP said that the only outstanding issues relating to the proposal related to the M18, and could be negotiated locally with the Highway Agency without a public inquiry.
Ms Flint said: “A public inquiry does not serve any purpose, other than to delay a project that is good for Rossington, good for Doncaster and good for Yorkshire and the Humber.”
The Minister agreed to meet local MPs to discuss the issue.
Speaking after the debate, Jeff Ennis said: “We presented a forceful case that Doncaster and South Yorkshire will benefit from the InlandPort and there is no good case for delay. Today’s debate has put this issue front and centre on the Minister’s list of issues needing a decision.”