St Albans City proposes move to Park Street rail freight scheme site

PUBLISHED: 12:31 11 December 2013 | UPDATED: 12:42 11 December 2013

Co-owners of St Albans City Football Club John McGowan and Lawrence Levy. The Saints are seeking to move from Clarence Park

Co-owners of St Albans City Football Club John McGowan and Lawrence Levy. The Saints are seeking to move from Clarence Park

Archant

One of the UK’s largest residential developers might be interested in building homes on Radlett Airfield, according to a former St Albans MP.

And St Albans City Football Club has signalled its intention to propose a joint housing and football stadium scheme.

Herts county council announced on Monday that it was deferring a decision on selling the Park Street site to rail freight developers Helioslough, and would instead consider “rational” alternative schemes.

Kerry Pollard, Labour’s prospective parliamentary candidate, said he was in discussion with Taylor Wimpey and affordable home provider Hightown Praetorian and Churches Housing Association about a possible scheme.

A spokeswoman for Taylor Wimpey North Thames said: “We’ve taken the decision not to comment at this stage”.

John McGowan, co-owner of the football club, has written to the council offering to buy the 119-hectare site as the Saints are seeking a permanent move from Clarence Park.

He has been in talks with a, “major land developer who has stated they will support me with a joint bid to match Helioslough’s offer.”

John said he understood the offer was in the region of about £17 million, subject to planning approval.

He said the Saints’ scheme would include a new stadium and 6,000 homes.

St Albans MP Anne Main said: “The way forward now at the county council level is to look into what limited positive development could block this rail freight proposal while preserving the majority of the Green Belt.

“If even a relatively small portion of the land was reserved for future housing and much needed local facilities, such as a new school, it would have the potential to deliver a much greater return to the county, and long term benefits to local people.”

Mrs Main will continue trying to have the Helioslough scheme “thrown out altogether at the Secretary of State level”.

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