Radlett Rail Freight depot judicial review application fails

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THE push for a reconsideration of a Judicial Review over the controversial proposed rail freight depot in Park Street, St Albans, has failed.

St Albans district council (SADC) was refused permission last Friday (August 30) to proceed with its current Judicial Review application.

The council had sought to challenge a decision by Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Eric Pickles.

The challenge related to Mr Pickles’ decision not to reopen the planning inquiry into the proposed Radlett Strategic Rail Freight Interchange (SRFI) in Park Street, and conjoin it with an inquiry into an alternative site near Slough.

SADC’s initial application for permission to proceed with a Judicial Review was turned down by the High Court in an order issued on June 14.

An oral hearing before a High Court judge to have the application reconsidered was heard last Friday, and was rejected after an hour and a half’s hearing.

The judge, Mr Justice Collins, determined that Mr Pickles was entitled to exercise his discretion to reach the decision he did.

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A spokesman for SADC said that following legal advice, the council has decided not to seek leave to appeal against the judge’s decision.

The final decision on the appeal by Helioslough in respect of its proposed SRFI at Park Street is yet to be made by the Secretary of State.

Mr Pickles has previously said he is minded to approve the appeal, subject to the provision of a satisfactory Section 106 planning obligation, which binds all those with an interest in the appeal site.

On August 15, he extended the period for submission of a satisfactory planning obligation until November 14 this year.