Call to keep the pressure on in St Albans rail freight site

The proposed site of the Radlett rail freight depot

The proposed site of the Radlett rail freight depot - Credit: Archant

Anti rail freight campaigners are urging local residents to put pressure on county councillors and prospective parliamentary candidates in a bid to prevent land at Radlett Airfield being sold to developers Helioslough.

STRiFE - Stop The Rail Freight Exchange - is refusing to give up the battle to prevent Helioslough building a Strategic Rail Freight Interchange (SFRI) on the former airfield in Park Street, much of which is owned by Herts county council.

St Albans district council has until next Monday, April 13, to decide whether or not to try and get leave to appeal against last month’s High Court decision that Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles, did nothing wrong in granting the scheme planning permission.

STRiFE is warning that if the council does decide to take the matter to the Court of Appeal, it may not be until the autumn that a further appeal is heard.

If the council does not proceed down the legal route, the pressure will be firmly on the county council and their decision whether or not to sell their land holding to Helioslough.

Cathy Bolshaw of STRiFE said: “STRiFE is absolutely clear that this last large piece of Green Belt land between St Albans and London must be protected at all costs.

“St Albans district council has retained the land as Green Belt in their latest District Plan and therefore also consider it a necessity too.”

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The action group is urging everyone to stress the importance and relevance of the SRFI issue to prospective parliamentary candidates as well as put pressure on county councillors as the next decision might well be theirs.

A petition opposing the sale of Radlett Airfield on the county council’s webiste has over 3,150 signatures and STRiFE is encouraging anyone who has not done so to sign up to it.

Cathy stressed that STRiFE had not given up the battle yet and intended to keep going. “We are not at the end yet by a long way,” she added.

* A website update by the county council after the Herts Advertiser went to press last week meant that the petition could no longer be accessed on the address given in the article.

It can now be signed here.