Strategic Railfreight Interchange Petition
Despite extensive local opposition the Secretary of State has stated that he is ‘minded to approve’ the planning permission for the Strategic Railfreight Interchange on the former Radlett Aerodrome site and not to re-open the public inquiry. The proposed development is located on land currently owned by Hertfordshire County Council and an online petition is available urging Hertfordshire County Council to maintain their current position as to the ownership of the land on the former Radlett Aerodrome, and not to sell or lease it to HelioSlough, for the development of a Strategic Rail Freight Interchange.
The petition, which currently has in excess of 8000 signatures, can be found on Hertfordshire County Council’s ‘Herts Consults’ petition pages at:
Alternatively, a paper copy is available for signature at the Parish Council Offices, London Colney Community Centre, Caledon Road, London Colney, AL2 1PU
Background to the petition
Helioslough Ltd appealed against St Albans City & District Council’s refusal of planning permission for a rail freight interchange on land at the former Radlett aerodrome. A Public Inquiry was held in November and December 2009. This culminated in a decision by the Secretary of State, dated 7 July 2010, to dismiss the appeal. The District Council, in its original planning decision, considered that the rail freight proposal would cause harm to the Green Belt. It also considered that it would be contrary to the Development Plan.
Helioslough challenged the Secretary of State’s July 2010 decision in the High Court an on 1 July 2011, a High Court Judge quashed the decision on the basis of one of four grounds of challenge put forward by Helioslough. St Albans City & District Council was a second defendant in the case. The Judge found that the Secretary of State did not properly explain his reasons for disagreeing with the Planning Inspector’s recommendation that the proposed development be allowed.
The High Court referred the matter back to the Secretary of State to re-determine and as a result all parties were invited in late 2011 by the Secretary of State to make further written representation.
In March 2012, the Secretary of State informed all parties that he had decided to delay his decision. He invited further written representations on the relevance of the recently published National Planning Policy Framework, following which he wrote to SADC in September 2012 to seek views on a proposal to re-open the Radlett inquiry. He proposed to join it with a planned inquiry into a proposed strategic rail freight terminal at Colnbrook near Slough. Interested parties were asked to give their views by 3 October 2012, however, in a letter dated 14 December 2012, the Department for Communities and Local Government said that he had decided not to re-open the inquiry and in a letter of 20 December 2012 the Secretary of State said that he was “minded to approve” planning permission for the proposed interchange, subject to various conditions
In its letters of 18 January 2013, the District Council requested that the Secretary of State reconsider his decision not to re-open the Radlett inquiry and conjoin it with the Colnbrook inquiry. The District Council also gave notice of its intention to challenge the decision not to reopen and conjoin the inquiry through judicial review in the High Court if the Secretary of State did not meet the District Council’s request. The latest update from the District Council can be found at:
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In just less than than three years more than 22 miles of motorway have been widened.
Further information and contact details can be found in the Highways Agency’s Summer 2012 newsletter which can be downloaded as a PDF by clicking on the image to the right.
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