St Albans MP Anne Main: "Doing nothing is not an option" for Park Street rail freight land
PUBLISHED: 16:10 20 September 2018
I welcome the fact that the new Local Plan is making progress and is now out for consultation. We currently have one of the oldest district plans in the country. We need a new plan to meet growing housing need and to shape St Albans for the future.
One site being taken forward is the Park Street garden village.
This Green Belt site was targeted by developers for a Strategic Rail Freight Interchange. However, I believe that if this site is to be lost to development, then it should be used to deliver much needed homes.
I have campaigned for 14 years against this site being used as a SRFI. I believe there would be major pressures on our roads and to commuter services if a SRFI was built.
The garden village proposal in the Local Plan offers us a credible alternative for the site.
Doing nothing is not an option; we have to choose between supporting a disruptive rail freight interchange or a new garden village with the infrastructure and schooling improvements that it would bring.
If this site cannot be used for housing, then an alternative site will still have to be found to meet our housing need.
This could mean more Green Belt lost and we would have a rail freight terminal.
As you will see in the Local Plan, the garden village site will require a developer to provide around 2,300 new homes, with almost half being ‘affordable housing’.
It will include a nursing or residential home and a facility to care for those with special needs, in addition to green areas and a new country park.
There will also be two new primary schools and a secondary school built as part of the plan.
The plan will also include upgrades to the Abbey railway line and new connections to Euston. Two things that many commuters have asked for over the years.
This site will be developed; we need to ensure it is done so in the best interests of St Albans residents. I would like to see it developed for the homes and schools my constituents need.
Find out more about the masterplan at www.hertsad.co.uk/news/poll-asking-rail-freight-or-housing-for-st-albans-green-belt-1-5691446