Have your say on the future of Radlett Airfield site

Cathy Bolshaw of STRiFE

Cathy Bolshaw of STRiFE - Credit: Archant

Anti rail freight campaign group STRiFE is asking local people for their views on the future of Radlett Airfield, the Green Belt site earmarked for a proposed depot

While STRiFE - which was set up to fight the plan by Helioslough to build a giant Strategic Rail Freight Interchange (SRFI) on the land in Park Street - would still prefer the land to remain as Green Belt, the massive scheme finally got planning permission in 2012 after years of wrangling.

Now STRiFE - Stop The Rail Freight Exchange - wants to gauge public opinion about whether they would rather see an SRFI or a new housing scheme on the former airfield.

As a result, the campaign group has asked the Herts Advertiser to carry a poll asking our readers for their opinion - which can be found on the homepage of our website.

Currently Helioslough has several planning applications for reserved matters on the SRFI with St Albans council. But it will not be able to go ahead with any work on the site unless Herts county council, as a major landowner of Radlett Airfield, agrees to sell the site to the company.

The county council says that so far no approach has been made to them about selling the land.

In the meantime Taylor Wimpey North Thames has also approached the county council expressing an interest in creating a new garden village development of 2,000 homes on the site.

Most Read

There has been little movement on the housing scheme in recent months because Radlett Airfield is still zoned as Green Belt in the district council’s draft planning blueprint, the Strategic Local Plan.

Cathy Bolshaw of STRiFE stressed that the campaign group’s mandate was to keep the site as Green Belt and stop the SRFI being built there but they felt the time was right to gauge public opinion.

She pointed out that, to put it into perspective, 2,000 new homes equated to about half the size of Radlett, around four times the size of Napsbury Park in London Colney and twice the size of Porters Park, the former Shenley Hospital site.

She said: “We need to gauge public opinion and present it to Robert Gordon [leader of the county council] and Julian Daly [leader of St Albans council].

“We will be led by people’s views and not the other way round.”

Cathy added: “STRiFE has not given up and ‘thrown in the towel’ at all and we will continue to fight against this monstrous proposal as long as we possibly can.”