Radlett rail freight inquiry set to begin

PUBLISHED: 07:06 21 November 2009 | UPDATED: 14:41 06 May 2010

Protesters outside St Albans Council offices earlier this year

Protesters outside St Albans Council offices earlier this year

CAMPAIGN group STRiFE is urging everyone to attend the first day of the public inquiry into plans for a giant rail freight depot in Park Street. The second inquiry into the Helioslough plan to build a Strategic Rail Freight Interchange (SRFI) on the forme

CAMPAIGN group STRiFE is urging everyone to attend the first day of the public inquiry into plans for a giant rail freight depot in Park Street.

The second inquiry into the Helioslough plan to build a Strategic Rail Freight Interchange (SRFI) on the former Radlett Airfield opens at 10am next Tuesday, November 24, at St Albans council offices in St Peter's Street.

STRiFE - Stop The Rail Freight Exchange - is calling on people to demonstrate to the inspector just how much opposition there is to the proposed development in the Green Belt.

The start of the inquiry will be preceded by a demonstration by STRiFE and its supporters outside the council offices at 9.30am.

In the morning the district council, Helioslough and STRiFE will be issuing their opening statements which will be webcast.

Public

But STRiFE is keen to stress that it is a public inquiry which means people are allowed to attend throughout the scheduled four weeks although it is particularly important that they show their support for the campaign group on Tuesday.

The inquiry will run from 10am to 5pm Tuesday to Friday and anyone wishing to present their views to the Inspector should inform programme officer Lesley Young and supply her with their name, the group they wish to represent and contact information by Monday, November 23.

It is preferred that they supply her with a copy of their evidence in writing - and if possible electronically - by November 30, prior to Public Day, the date of which has yet to be confirmed.

Lesley can be contacted on 01727 819304, email pins.appeals@ stalbans.gov.uk and the address is Programme Officer, St Albans City and District Council, Civic Centre, St Peter's Street, St Albans AL1 3JE.

STRiFE also wants to thank everyone who has contributed to their funds to present a case at the inquiry but the campaign group is still £2,000 short. Anyone who can help is asked to do so now.

l St Albans planners reluctantly agreed to withdraw highways concerns from their list of objections to the rail freight depot at a meeting last week.

The decision was taken in light of the county council's decision as highways authority not to present evidence on the impact of the proposed development on the local road network to the inquiry.

The county council fears that, in light of the inspector's ruling that he will not consider any evidence which does not amount to a material change in circumstances since the last inquiry, that they could have costs awarded against them.

But St Albans planning portfolio holder, Cllr Chris Brazier, said the district council had decided not to withdraw its objection to the implications of extra traffic from the rail freight depot on the motorway junctions.

He was able to get the issue put into the public part of the meeting and added: "I wanted to make sure the county council knew of our disappointment and the public to know that it was not the district council but the county council who have let us down on this one.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Herts Advertiser