Developers claim terminal would be a "positive contribution"

PUBLISHED: 17:14 27 November 2007 | UPDATED: 12:45 06 May 2010

A RAIL freight terminal on the former Radlett Aerodrome site would provide a positive contribution to the Green Belt according to would-be developers Helioslough. The company had its chance this week to give evidence to the inquiry into its application

A RAIL freight terminal on the former Radlett Aerodrome site would provide a "positive contribution" to the Green Belt according to would-be developers Helioslough.

The company had its chance this week to give evidence to the inquiry into its application to build the rail freight terminal on the redundant airfield in Park Street.

St Albans District Council refused the proposal for the 3.5-million-square-foot depot earlier this year and the public inquiry into that decision has now been sitting for nearly four weeks.

Planning inspector Andrew Phillipson has already heard submissions opposing the scheme from the council, campaign group STRiFE, Thameslink line train operator First Capital Connect and a number of local groups and individuals.

The development would comprise five huge warehouses with 20-metre-high lighting masts and parking for more than 2,000 vehicles together with a potential new bypass for Park Street.

Helioslough plans to create a country park alongside the terminal, which they believe will mitigate the loss of Green Belt land.

First in the witness stand for Helioslough this week was Martin Kelly, a landscape architect and urban designer, who argued that the proposal would provide a positive contribution to the countryside and the Green Belt where it would be situated.

He said the scheme, "would not be visually intrusive from surrounding areas and would not be out of scale or character with the locality".

David Tucker, who has submitted evidence on sustainability, need and alternative sites, claimed hundreds of other sites had been considered for the rail freight terminal but no other met the Government's criteria better than the Radlett Aerodrome site.

He said Helioslough had drawn up a travel plan for employees to reduce car journeys with their baseline target being a car/employee ratio of 65 per cent.

Noise consultant Doug Sharps agreed that the scheme would result in significant site activity and traffic, particularly in the construction phrase, but maintained that earth mounding around the site would substantially minimise the noise levels.

Lighting consultant Nigel Pollards said the nature of the lighting meant there would not be a significant increase in sky glow within the surrounding environment.

The inquiry continues.

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