St Albans council backs protesters' arguments against rail freight depot
PUBLISHED: 11:10 23 December 2009 | UPDATED: 14:47 06 May 2010
AN ADAMANT St Albans district council reiterated arguments made my campaign group STRiFE as part of their closing submissions last week. Speaking on the last day of the rail freight inquiry last Friday, the council s barrister Matthew Reed said that Par
AN ADAMANT St Albans district council reiterated arguments made my campaign group STRiFE as part of their closing submissions last week.
Speaking on the last day of the rail freight inquiry last Friday, the council's barrister Matthew Reed said that Park Street would never recover from the introduction of a rail freight terminal, which had a proposed floor space of over 300,000 square metres.
Following up on STRiFE barrister Paul Stinchcombe's closing submissions last Thursday, Mr Reed said that the terminal's impact on the Green Belt land would be "disastrous" and, as well as blocking the view towards St Albans, it would lead to "significant encroachment in the countryside".
Mr Reed said that despite the decision of the first inquiry, which conceded that Helioslough would probably have got planning permission had they proved there were no alternative sites available, he firmly believed that there was "good reason" for rejecting the proposal.
He pointed out that because each issue has been considered afresh as part of the inquiry, there was no duty to decide a case in the same way as a previous decision.
Mr Reed, who highlighted the site's ecological value and its recent designation as a country wildlife site, also took the opportunity to remind planning inspector Andrew Mead that in a case lasting four weeks, "it is easy to overlook the extraordinary nature of what is proposed.