A petition has been launched to help stop a rail freight depot from being constructed on Green Belt land, near St Albans.

The recently formed 'Save St Albans: Fight the Freight' campaign group have started the petition to show opposition to any sale of the land made by Hertfordshire County Council.


During a meeting on December 1, Hertfordshire County Council agreed that they would sell the land, near Park Street, to rail freight developers SEGRO.

'Save St Albans: Fight the Freight' now claim that the council is "ignoring legal advice" that could prevent any sale.

According to the campaign group, legal advice suggests that "because so much had time has elapsed since the government gave the depot the go-ahead in 2014 the council were entitled to investigate whether the terminal is still viable".

One of the campaign's leaders, Cllr Nuala Webb, commented: "The Secretary of State only approved the terminal on Green Belt in 2014 because it was deemed of strategic national importance.

"But if the council were advised that the merits of this terminal should be questioned in 2016, then surely it is even more important they consider what has further changed in the seven years since then and whether it is still of strategic national importance.

"The council say they are reluctant sellers.

"They should prove they mean that by investigating fully the current and future need of this depot before any sale.”

The petition calls for a delay on any decision on whether to sell the land to the developers until the council has considered all options, including a review about the demand for a terminal on the former Radlett Airfield site.

Another of the group's leaders, Andy Love, added: "Many residents, schools, nurseries and local businesses are totally unaware of both the original plans for a rail freight interchange and that the county council is in the process of selling the Park Street green belt to SEGRO, the rail freight developer.

"This development is so large it will take five to six years to construct. The rail freight operations will be mainly road based and lead to an estimated 3,200 HGV movements every day and several thousand light vehicle movements each day as well.

“It is important Herts County Council understand that people believe the former Radlett aerodrome Green Belt land should stay in public ownership and be kept for the benefit of the local community.”

Click here to find the campaign group's petition.