Campaigners regroup to fight plan

PUBLISHED: 12:06 18 November 2008 | UPDATED: 13:46 06 May 2010

CAMPAIGNERS who fought the proposals to build a giant rail freight depot on Green Belt land in Park Street have been regrouping following the announcement that another application is imminent. Developers Helioslough lost their first bid to build the depot

CAMPAIGNERS who fought the proposals to build a giant rail freight depot on Green Belt land in Park Street have been regrouping following the announcement that another application is imminent.

Developers Helioslough lost their first bid to build the depot on the former Radlett Airfield site after a lengthily planning inquiry but last week, within seven weeks of the decision, they announced that a new application would be with the district council in the New Year.

While the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Hazel Blears, refused Helioslough's appeal, she did so on one major ground - that the developers had done insufficient work proving that there were no alternative suitable sites to serve London and the South East.

Helioslough have said the ruling gave them confidence that the application would be passed if they did more work on the alternative sites assessments.

But campaign group STRiFE (Stop The Rail Freight Exchange) and MP for St Albans Anne Main are already busy investigating how to fight the proposal again.

Mrs Main said: "We have got to keep up the momentum and assure people that this is not a done deal."

She said they already had a number of things up their sleeves and emphasised that they believed there were other more favourable sites.

Campaigners had been hoping that an application for a rail freight site would be submitted for Sundon Quarry in South Beds by developers ProLogis -- but it emerged last week that the plans had been put on ice due to the financial climate.

Mrs Main emphasised that a planning application did not need to have been submitted for another site to be proved more suitable than Park Street.

Speaking about a fresh application, she said: "We will be absolutely scrutinising with a microscope everything they put in as we know that not everything they put forward before was fact - it was fiction."

Mrs Main also told Hazel Blears in Parliament this week that, while she was pleased with her decision on the original Helioslough application, she was disappointed that the subsequent report was interpreted by the developer as a green light to submit another application.

But the Minister replied that if commercial operators wanted to bring forward applications, it was not within her power to prevent them from doing so. She added: "It is a matter for the market to determine whether such applications are made.

More news stories

Yesterday, 17:00

Unseen work by a successful artist has been discovered and published by her son after her passing.

Yesterday, 12:00

A St Albans man is hoping to raise over £200 for charity through a Christmas lights display.

Yesterday, 09:00

A thief from St Albans who used multiple aliases was given a suspended sentence for stealing from and damaging cars.

Fri, 15:51

A London Colney primary school went the extra mile for its nativity play by including a real donkey and baby.

CountryPhile

I should probably have taken the hint! Walking out into the garden recently an unprecedented flock of thirty or more crows raucously greeted me from the treetops at the bottom of my garden. Cawing and croaking these big, black birds clung clumsily to the top most branches and twigs, jostling and flapping to stay balanced in a constant flurry of feathers. There is always something ominous about crows – they are after all carrion crows, the vultures of the bird world – always watching for scraps and weakness that might mean their next meal.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the The Herts Advertiser e-edition E-edition
Zoo Watch CountryPhile

Newsletter Sign Up

Herts Advertiser weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read stories

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists

Herts Most Wanted Herts Business Awards