Rail freight decision 'not before autumn'

PUBLISHED: 11:32 27 March 2008 | UPDATED: 13:08 06 May 2010

A computer-generated image of what the proposed rail freight depot would look like

A computer-generated image of what the proposed rail freight depot would look like

A DECISION on whether or not a massive rail-freight depot can be built in the district is unlikely to be known until the autumn. The planning inspector who heard the inquiry held late last year into the scheme for the former Radlett Airfield in Park Stree

A DECISION on whether or not a massive rail-freight depot can be built in the district is unlikely to be known until the autumn.

The planning inspector who heard the inquiry held late last year into the scheme for the former Radlett Airfield in Park Street is not expected to forward his recommendation to the Secretary of State until late summer with a decision expected to be issued in October.

But St Albans District Council's planning portfolio holder, Cllr Chris Brazier, pledged at last week's full council meeting that if the decision went against the council and there were sufficient grounds, they would consider a Judicial Review in a bid to prevent it being built.

The seven-week public inquiry cost the district council £750,000 and was into an application by developers Helioslough to build a 3.5-million square foot depot which would consist of five huge warehouses with 20-metre-high lighting masts and parking for more than 2,000 vehicles.

It also promised a by-pass for Park Street and the creation of a country park alongside the terminal to mitigate the loss of Green Belt land.

The council's decision to refuse the application received overwhelming support from Herts County Council, the East of England Regional Assembly and the Highways Agency.

In response to a question at council, Cllr Brazier said he was very hopeful that they would be successful. "We put forward a very good defence and spent three-quarters-of-a-million pounds on it," he added.

"But if they come back and allow it, we will have to look at the decision and into a Judicial Review if there is a legal reason."

He told councillors: "We will look at every planning consideration to defend our reasons for refusal and through a Judicial Review if necessary.

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