Rail freight

24.03.15

Council still considering whether to appeal Radlett decision

St Albans City and District Council (SADC) is still considering whether to appeal the High Court’s decision to dismiss its appeal against a rail freight terminal at Radlett being built on green belt land. 

Last year, the council challenged the secretary of state for communities and local government’s decision to grant planning permission for a strategic rail freight interchange (SRFI) in Park Street. 

The decision to make the appeal was part of a seven-year protest campaign against the application to build the SRFI by Helioslough Limited, the joint venture between Helios Properties plc, a logistics specialist, and Slough Estates plc. 

Earlier this month, however, the council’s appeal was dismissed by the High Court. SADC was also ordered to pay the secretary of state’s costs of £13,269.  Further costs are currently being assessed. 

SADC did make an appeal to Mr Justice Holgate for permission to appeal his decision.  But as this was refused, the council now has until 13 April 2015 to decide whether it wishes to apply for permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal.  

RTM was told that the council is still taking legal advice before deciding whether to apply for permission to appeal the decision. 

When the High Court’s decision was made, Cllr Julian Daly, SADC’s portfolio holder for planning and conservation, said:  “The council is, of course, disappointed with the Court’s decision.  

“Our position remains that building a freight interchange at this site will be harmful to the district’s green belt.” 

But Philippa Edmunds, Freight on Rail manager, said: “We need road/rail transfer stations such as Radlett at key strategic locations on our major networks to get long distance consumer freight onto the railways, the low carbon energy efficient safer alternative to HGVs which reduces road congestion. Terminals are the freight equivalent of stations for passengers.” 

“Radlett has become a test case because of its location in the south east where there is a lack of alternative sites with good road and rail connections.” 

Tell us what you think – have your say below or email opinion@railtechnologymagazine.com

Comments

Richard   28/03/2015 at 11:03

Why not use the land at Stewartby instead? Its already industrialized, it has a railway and it has the M1 right next to it. To have green belt land used when industrialized land is sitting there doing nothing is bonkers.

Nickk   29/03/2015 at 12:07

Be realistic, it's got little to do with rail-freight: in the plans I saw, there will be no North-bound access (road to rail) due to "space constraints"? It'll just be another road distribution depot, near the M25. Now if there was an offer to link the Watford Abbey Flier line to the Midland Mainline, SADC might change their tune...

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