Park Street rail freight site will 'prove an ideal site for a residential development', says St Albans' former MP Kerry Pollard

Rail freight site will 'prove an ideal site for a residential development', says former MP

Rail freight site will 'prove an ideal site for a residential development', says former MP

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St Albans' former MP and current Labour candidate is asking the county council to defer its decision on the Strategic Rail Freight Interchange - so it can be sold to a housing developer instead.

Prospective parliamentary candidate for St Albans, Kerry Pollard, said he had entered into "preliminary discussions" with home-builder Taylor Wimpey.

He believes the Radlett Airfield would "prove an ideal site for a residential development" given its location and existing transport links.

The decision on whether or not to sell the land to rail freight developers Helioslough will be made by Hertfordshire County Council on Monday.

Mr Pollard is asking councillors to hold off on the decision for three months.

He said: "I have been working for some time on a scheme which would bring much needed homes to St Albans.

"Homes for young first time buyers, affordable for rent, general housing and a bypass to Park Street, rather than the Rail Freight depot, which would be a blot on the landscape and cause traffic and other problems for local residents and throughout St Albans."

In a statement of intent he described the scheme, which will be brought to attention of county councillors before Monday, as "a less controversial proposal" for the former Radlett Airfield site.

He added: "This will have the potential not only to deliver much needed homes, but will also create local employment opportunities and inject significant investment into St Albans and Radlett, through increased infrastructure, and could offer long term mixed use opportunities.

"A development could also benefit the wider community and area with potential for public open space and woodland."

Mr Pollard said Taylor Wimpey had expressed "a real interest" in the development, and asked the council to defer its decision to sell for up to three months.

He added: "There is nothing to lose in deferring, this has been going on for many years already, and there is a huge amount to gain.

"This is a win - win situation. The future of this site and the impact on our town needs serious consideration."

Campaign group STRiFE’s leader Cathy Bolshaw said: “From our perspective we would argue the green belt is the asset and it needs to be protected at all costs

“I can certainly see his position in asking for a deferment and the council should be encouraged to look at it.”

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