The Enfield Marshalling Yards, owned by the NSW State Government, were established in Enfield (now the suburbs of Strathfield South and Belfield) in the 1910s. The Yards continued operating for many decades until the early 1970s. Originally this site was surrounded by farmland but over time, residential development occured in surrounding suburbs such as Belmore, Belfield, South Strathfield, Strathfield, Chullora, Greenacre and Lakemba.
The future redevelopment of the former Enfield Marshalling Yards has been an issue for Strathfield Council for many years.
In the early 1990s, National Rail proposed an Intermodal terminal at Enfield. National Rail eventually shifted their proposal to Chullora.
In 2001, Sydney Ports Corporation proposed a 500,000 container terminal at this site. This development was known as 'Port Enfield'. The opposition by the local community and affected Councils, including Strathfield Council, resulted in the establishment of the 'Independent Review of the Proposed Enfield Intermodal Terminal', convened by the Hon. Milton Morris OAM. The Independent Review Report on the proposed terminal released in early 2003, concluded the proposal for an intermodal terminal at Enfield, in its current form, was unacceptable and should not proceed.
The next proposal for development of this site occured in January 2005, when the Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Natural Resources (DIPNR) and Sydney Ports Authority held a briefing meeting for local Councils and agencies in regard to a new proposal for a rail freight intermodal facility at the former Enfield Marshalling Yards.
The proposal developed by Sydney Ports Authority involved developing the former Enfield Marshalling Yards site into a rail/freight 'Intermodal Logistic Centre', which included a 60 hectare, 2.5km long logistics centre on the site of the Enfield Marshalling Yards that will operate 24 hours a day seven days a week and is capable of moving 300 000 containers a year. More than 1000 semi-trailers and b-doubles will run each day and night through the Strathfield Municipality along with thousands of smaller trucks on residential streets.
Sydney Ports prepared an Environmental Impact Statement for the proposal that Department of Planning placed on Public Exhibition from 10 January to 20 February 2006. The Department of Planning, not Strathfield Council, was responsible for assessing the proposal as they considered it a 'Major Significant Site'.
Strathfield Council facilitated and supported the community campaign against the proposal because the Council believes the development will have a negative impact on the amenity of the residents of the Strathfield Local Government Area.
Despite the community campaign, the Enfield Intermodal Logistics Centre development was approved by the Minister of Planning, Frank Sartor on 5 September 2007 under Part 3A of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.