Could 2,000 homes be built instead of Park Street rail freight depot?

Put the Brakes on Freight - Herts Advertiser campaign

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

Two thousand new homes could be in the pipeline for a strategic Green Belt site - instead of a contentious mammoth rail freight interchange.

An expression of interest has been given by Taylor Wimpey North Thames to build a garden village on Herts county council land at the former Radlett airfield.

The authority was approached by the developers after it sought alternative uses for the site, in line with a pledge made when a petition against a rail freight depot on the Park Street land triggered a county council debate on the issue.

An invitation to developers to submit expressions of interest on the 119-hectare former airfield was advertised in Estates Gazette several months ago.

In response, Taylor Wimpey said it was keen to build 2,000 houses, along with community services and transport connections.

The council’s leader, Cllr Robert Gordon, said: “Our prime duty is to the residents of Hertfordshire, and we remain opposed to the proposed development of a strategic rail freight interchange on the county council’s land at the former Radlett airfield.

“We would prefer not to see a change in the current green belt status of this land and would also prefer not to sell it. However, it is possible that circumstances might arise where we have no lawful alternative but to sell. We therefore actively contacted developers to see if any alternative uses could be found for the land, which would achieve at least the equivalent value as an interchange.

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“We will now consider our position in light of the expression of interest that we have received.”

A cross-party group of councillors will discuss the latest position at the council’s resources and performance cabinet panel at County Hall, Hertford, from 10am on Monday, July 4, which the public are welcome to attend. A summary of the panel’s discussion will be presented to Cabinet at 2pm on Monday, July 11, which the public are also welcome to attend.

Cabinet will then take a view on how the authority should proceed.