Residents have described shaking walls and damaging noise levels as drilling work begins for a new rail freight terminal at the former site of Radlett Aerodrome.

Gary Davis, who chairs the Napsbury Park Residents Association, has called on St Albans City and District Council to revoke permission given to developers Segro for weekend drilling work to take place.

A spokesperson for campaign group Save St Albans: Fight the Freight said: "Furious residents in Napsbury Park are demanding developers stop drilling at the site of the proposed rail-freight terminal on the former Radlett airfield after a weekend of what they say was unacceptable noise and disturbance.

"Some residents say the vibrations from the drilling were so bad it felt as though their houses started to shake.

Herts Advertiser: Preliminary works have already begun at the site.Preliminary works have already begun at the site. (Image: Andy Cairns)

"They also claim the drilling exceeded permitted noise levels and went on into the evening beyond the 6pm limit.

"Some residents took to social media to describe how their walls were shaking. 

"Other residents have complained that the noise made it impossible for students to concentrate on revision for GCSE and A level exams."

Following these complaints, Mr Davis added: "Noise levels for this type of work should be monitored and not exceed 60 decibels. 

"Yet people living nearby recorded decibel levels of 85 which is damaging to human hearing.  And this went on all weekend and is planned for the next four weekends.  It's unacceptable."

Chris Traill, strategic director for community and place delivery at St Albans City and District Council, commented: “I have spoken to the chair of the residents’ association who has made me aware of their concerns about excessive noise and working hours.

“SEGRO’s contractor has planning permission to carry out the piling, which is causing the noise, at weekends during set hours.

Herts Advertiser: Residents' complaints are being investigated by St Albans council.Residents' complaints are being investigated by St Albans council. (Image: Andy Cairns)

“For safety reasons, the piling - which is happening close to the rail tracks - needs to be undertaken at the weekend when there are fewer trains.

“Our environmental enforcement team are investigating the residents’ complaints along with external environmental health consultants who will be on site to monitor activities including noise levels.

“We will take appropriate action should there be any breach of planning permissions or environmental health regulations.

“However, we would hope to reach a positive solution to the issues raised and I have asked SEGRO for a meeting.

“This would be to discuss any measures they might take to alleviate the concerns of residents and ensure good communications with them.

“The piling is among the most disruptive phase of the planned works and it is in everybody’s interest that it is completed as soon as possible.”


Despite work already beginning on the rail freight terminal, a legal challenge against Hertfordshire County Council's sale of the former Radlett Airfield land to Segro will be heard this summer.

On June 11, a judge will be asked to grant permission for a judicial review to go ahead at a hearing. If permission is granted, the judicial review will follow immediately – on the same day.

Herts Advertiser: Prior to the sale, a protest was organised outside the Hertfordshire County Council building.Prior to the sale, a protest was organised outside the Hertfordshire County Council building. (Image: Dee Young)

Hertfordshire County Council have continually insisted that the sale  was "undertaken in accordance with all due processes".