Rail freight depot ‘the biggest act of vandalism to hit St Albans’

The proposed site of the Radlett rail freight depot

The proposed site of the Radlett rail freight depot - Credit: Archant

Wholesale condemnation of the decision to grant planning permission for a rail freight depot has come from across the political spectrum.

It has been variously described as a hammer blow, devastating, and the biggest act of vandalism to hit St Albans.

Colney Heath parish council has also hit out at the scheme saying that St Albans will no longer be a cultural hub for tourism but become known as a rail freight terminal.

A statement on Colney Heath’s behalf from parish and district councillor Chris Brazier said the village, like the rest of the district, would be affected by the huge number of lorries adding to the already-congested roads as well as lorries parking up on local roads awaiting a loading slot.

He said the parish council would be urging the county council not to sell the land to Helioslough and added: “Although the county council would make a great deal of money from any sale, the development of this site would have a massive detrimental effect on local residents, not to mention the environmental devastation on one of the few remaining green areas to the South of the City.

Cllr Malcolm MacMillan, chair of London Colney parish council, said: “My council has resisted this application since it was first proposed and this decision will have a devastating environmental impact on the quality of life for our villagers. We call upon St Albans Council to initiate a judicial review”

He added: “The permanent damage to our village and city far outweighs the benefits from the millions of pounds that will go into the County bank account.”

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Cllr Jacob Quagliozzi, who represents London Colney on the district council, described the decision as “a hammer blow to London Colney and surrounding villages as well as the rest of St Albans.”

He added that it was an insult to the more than 10,000 peoiple who had signed the anti-rail freight petition and the many more who had campaigned about the proposal over the last few years.

Sandy Walkington, St Albans Lib Dem parliamentary candidate as well as a district and county councillor, said the decision was “the biggest act of vandalism ever to hit St Albans.”

He warned: “If our already congested road network and commuter rail services buckle under the strain, there will be huge wider implications for St Albans.”

And Labour prospective parliamentary candidate for St Albans, Kerry Pollard, commented: “I feel very sorry for the residents of Park Street who will bear the brunt of the extra heavy vehicles and the round the clock train movements but the effect of this will be felt far and wide.”