Planning applications submitted for St Albans rail freight scheme

Herts Ad editor Matt Adams, Anne Main MP and Cllr Sandy Walkington with rail freight campaigners out

Herts Ad editor Matt Adams, Anne Main MP and Cllr Sandy Walkington with rail freight campaigners outside County Hall - Credit: Archant

Any lingering hopes that developers Helioslough might not push ahead with developing a former airfield as a rail freight depot have been scotched.

Two planning applications for reserved matters relating to the Secretary of State’s 2014 decision to grant outline planning permission for a Strategic Rail Freight Interchange (SRFI) on Radlett Airfield in Park Street have been received by St Albans council.

One refers to development of the site including buildings, car parks and internal roads and the other to the Park Street bypass, northern gateway, southern access and work on the rail tracks from the Midland Main Line railway into the site.

A third application for landscaping reserved matters is expected next Spring.

The applications relate to the development of up to 425 acres of land for an intermodal area for the transportation of freight, distribution buildings and other related floorspace up to a maximum height of 20 metres.

Associated road, rail and other infrastructure works will include parking for up to 1602 cars and 617 lorries with earth mounding, tree planting and a Park Street/Frogmore relief road.

A new roundabout will be created on the A414 to enable the building of the proposed Park Street Relief Road which will run from there to the existing A5183 to the south of the M25. Access to and egress from the SRFI will be from the relief road.

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Improvement work will also be carried out to both the London Colney and Park Street roundabouts as well as Junctions 21a and 22 of the M25.

Helioslough also proposes to create a country park with new areas of woodland and managed countryside, a visitor interpretation point with car parking and picnic areas and new and improved facilities for bird watching, fishing and horse riding.

Although a statutory 21-day consultation period is currently underway, such a major application is unlikely to go to committee within that time frame.

And the county council, which owns a large portion of the former airfield, still has to decide whether or not it will sell the Green Belt site to Helioslough.