Appeal for financial aid to battle rail freight plan

Put the Brakes on Freight - Herts Advertiser campaign

Put the Brakes on Freight - Herts Advertiser campaign - Credit: Archant

Campaign group STRiFE are urging people to dig deep once again in the battle to prevent a massive rail freight depot being built in the district.

STRiFE is fully in support of St Albans council’s decision to challenge the decision by Secretary of State Eric Pickles that the scheme for a Strategic Rail Freight Interchange (SRFI) should be built on the former Radlett Airfield in Park Street.

To add weight to the council’s arguments and provide additional imput, STRiFE – Stop The Rail Freight Exchange – has instructed its barristers to enter it as an ‘interested party’ and a witness statement has been submitted to the High Court for the hearing scheduled for February 2 and 3 next year.

But the campaign group needs money to enable its barristers to participate in the proceedings and is hoping that local residents will once again be supportive.

Making a plea on behalf of STRiFe, Cathy Bolshaw said: “Whilst we realise that you may have given before, we would really appreciate if you could dig deep once more, to try and fight off this hideous proposal once and for all.

“Thank you for your continued support and we can assure you that the STRiFE team are still working to preserve the character and setting of St Albans and its villages that makes them so attractive now. We will keep striving to protect them from the hideous prospect of the proposed SRFI.”

St Albans council is challenging Mr Pickles’s decision to grant planning permission for the SRFI on three counts.

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The first is in regards to the legality of the Secretary of State’s approach in taking his decision and the second relates to the misapplication of wording in the National Planning Policy Framework, a document that sets out planning policy nationally.

The third ground for the challenge relates to procedural irregularity and inconsistency on the interchange ruling in light of the decision to turn down a plan for an incinerator in Hatfield.

STRiFe is appealing for anyone willing to support the ongoing campaign to send cheques to STRiFE, c/o Chris Brown, 5 The Rise, Park Street, St Albans, AL2 2NT, or direct to its bank account at HSBC, 31 Chequer Street, St Albans, sort code 40-40-01, account number 22031051 and quote STRiFE 2014 with your name.