'Save St Albans: Fight the Freight' - a campaign group against the construction of a rail freight terminal on Green Belt Land - is preparing a series of legal challenges against Hertfordshire County Council.

HCC confirmed the sale of the former Radlett Airfield land to developers SEGRO on Friday, June 30.

Former Secretary of State, Eric Pickles, has already given planning permission for the rail freight terminal to be constructed.

It now falls to St Albans City & District Council to ensure that planning conditions are complied with.


'Save St Albans: Fight the Freight' claim to have "identified a series of flaws" in the sale process, which mean that "the sale should not have gone ahead".

The group also claim to have uncovered covenants dating back 70 years, which confirm that the land should be held in statutory trust as an open space, and would block any development on the site.

One of the campaign leaders, Cllr Nuala Webb, said: “We’ve been going through old council minutes and correspondence dating back 70 years or more, and there are plenty of clauses and covenants that insist there should be no development or building work on the site other than agricultural units. 

Herts Advertiser: Green Belt land, at Radlett Airfield.Green Belt land, at Radlett Airfield.

“Herts County Council have either not bothered to look through these or have tried to ignore them."

'Save St Albans: Fight the Freight' say that their lawyers have written a letter to Hertfordshire County Council demanding that the local authority undertakes a legal review of the land, which it purchased for £1 in 1985.


Get more stories like this delivered to your inbox every week by signing up to our newsletter.


Cllr Webb added: "It’s unlikely that anyone would sell 300 acres of land for £1 if there was potential future development value there.

"This decision affects St Albans and the surrounding district and we feel Herts County Council in their rush to sell have failed the public they’re supposed to serve."

Herts Advertiser: Campaigners protesting outside Hertfordshire County Council.Campaigners protesting outside Hertfordshire County Council. (Image: Dee Young)

The group say that their lawyers are sending the council a pre-action protocol letter, which may halt any development until a pollution impact assessment is undertaken.

However, a spokesperson for Hertfordshire County Council told The Herts Advertiser that it is yet to receive any pre-action letters from 'Save St Albans: Fight the Freight'.

The spokesperson commented: "If a pre-action letter is received by the council we will review and consider the contents before ensuring that due process is followed.”