Rail freight decision delayed by two weeks

THE outcome of a planning appeal for a huge rail freight terminal to be built on Green Belt land near Radlett has been delayed.

MP for St Albans Anne Main was given the news today by the Department for Communities and Local Government in a letter advising her that they were not in a position to deliver a decision by Wednesday, June 23, as originally planned.

The timetable has now been extended for a decision to be due on or before Thursday, July 8.

Anne said: “It is disappointing that we are to have this hanging over our heads for an extra two weeks. However, I very much hope that this will ensure that extra scrutiny will be taking place, and that the proposal is looked at in as much detail as possible.

“None of us want this to take any longer than it has to, but if a delay means the right result, I would rather have a delay.”

Developers Helioslough took the district council to a public inquiry for the second time at the end of last year, arguing that the reasons why the first appeal was turned down in 2007 had been fulfilled.

The proposed scheme encompasses 3.5 million square metres of Green Belt land at the former Radlett Airfield site between Park Street and London Colney.

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Helioslough argued that the terminal was needed to shift freight from the roads onto rail, but campaign group STRiFE and other objectors claim that it will create an increase in lorry movements and an increase in traffic on local roads as the rail paths are not available to service the site.