Rail freight depot action group find hope in planning laws
AN action group formed to fight plans for a giant rail freight depot on Radlett Airfield believes St District Council might have grounds to refuse to determine a new application. STRiFE, which is opposing the plan from Helioslough to build the depot near
AN action group formed to fight plans for a giant rail freight depot on Radlett Airfield believes St District Council might have grounds to refuse to determine a new application.
STRiFE, which is opposing the plan from Helioslough to build the depot near Park Street, believes the council might have grounds not to make a decision on a new planning application expected any day now.
Their belief is based on the fact that at a recent public consultation in St Albans, Helioslough admitted that the new scheme would be exactly the same as the one which was refused consent by Secretary of State Hazel Blears last year.
What will be added to it is far greater detail about whether more suitable alternative sites are available which Ms Blears said would have coloured her decision on the first planning application if it had established that none were suitable.
STRiFE points out that planning legislation allows for a local planning authority to decline to determine a planning application if the Secretary of State has refused a similar one within the last two years and planners believe there has been no change in the relevant material considerations since then.
They accept that the district council as the planning authority would need to see the new application before establishing if it is essentially the same scheme - and could attract a legal challenge from Helioslough.
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But they are calling on the local community to join them in urging the council to use the power if it is appropriate.