Railfreight: 'terrible day' for St Albans as Government grants planning permission for terminal

St Albans & Harpenden Review: Rail freight: 'terrible day' for St Albans as Goverment grants planning permission for terminal Rail freight: 'terrible day' for St Albans as Goverment grants planning permission for terminal

UPDATE: The county council will now 'take a view' on sale of former Radlett Aerodrome

The Government’s decision to grant permission for a rail freight terminal near Park Street has been described as an "insult" to the 10,000 people who campaigned against the controversial development.

Today the Department for Communities and Local Government said the need for a 300 acre terminal on Green Belt land outweighed the harm to the landscape.

This decision by Planning Minister Nick Boles takes the huge development one step further. However Hertfordshire County Council, which owns the land, will make the final decision on Helioslough's proposals.

Labour Councillor Jacob Quagliozzi said the decision was a "hammer blow" to London Colney and surrounding villages as well as the rest of St Albans.

The London Colney councillor said: "It is an insult to the more than 10,000 people who have signed the anti-railfreight petition and the many more who have campaigned against this proposal over the past few years.

"I expect the leaders of the main parties on the district council to convene a meeting as soon as is possible to discuss what options are available to the council to challenge the decision. But there can be no dressing this up, this is a terrible day for St Albans."

Stop the Rail Freight Exchange (STRIFE) have been campaigning for the past eight years to protect the Green Belt site.

STRIFE campaigner Cathy Bolshaw said: "I am gutted. I can’t believe it has come to this after eight years of campaigning.

"Morally this is the wrong decision. We have spoken with our legal advisors about a judicial review because this is really the only other legal course of action we can take.

"The decision is now back in the hands of Hertfordshire County Council."

Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate Councillor Sandy Walkington said it was "the biggest act of vandalism to ever hit St Albans".

He continued: "Having joined with STRiFE, with all the other political parties and so many local residents in giving evidence at the inquiries and supporting the other campaigning efforts, I now feel completely let down by the Secretary of State's decision. 

"It will destroy the setting of the medieval city and abbey. The impact on the residents of Park Street is incalculable. And if our already congested road network and commuter rail services buckle under the strain, there will be huge wider implications for St Albans.

"It's a political decision, that this is the only viable location for a lorry terminal and that the country's need for an extra terminal outweighs all other considerations.  In theory the decision can be challenged in the High Court but it will take time to work out whether there are any vulnerabilities in the Secretary of State's decision.  In the meantime we must all rue this day."

Comments (23)

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5:01pm Mon 14 Jul 14

Katherine Gardner says...

This is an utterly disgraceful decision from a weak government who care nothing for the people of Hertfordshire.

It is both morally indefensible and completely undemocratic. St. Albans spoke with one voice when we said we did not want this development to go ahead and it is a terrible day indeed for all those who live and work in the area.
Incomprehensible, disgraceful and devastating. Shame on the government for not rejecting this awful appeal.

There can be no justification for this decision and I utterly condemn it for the spineless attack on the greenbelt that it is.

We can now look to the county council and appeal to their better nature and ask that they do not sell the land to this developer and instead do something amazing - support the people of St. Albans who DO NOT WANT THIS!!!!!!

Katherine Gardner
London Colney Ward
St. Albans District Council
This is an utterly disgraceful decision from a weak government who care nothing for the people of Hertfordshire. It is both morally indefensible and completely undemocratic. St. Albans spoke with one voice when we said we did not want this development to go ahead and it is a terrible day indeed for all those who live and work in the area. Incomprehensible, disgraceful and devastating. Shame on the government for not rejecting this awful appeal. There can be no justification for this decision and I utterly condemn it for the spineless attack on the greenbelt that it is. We can now look to the county council and appeal to their better nature and ask that they do not sell the land to this developer and instead do something amazing - support the people of St. Albans who DO NOT WANT THIS!!!!!! Katherine Gardner London Colney Ward St. Albans District Council Katherine Gardner
  • Score: -12

5:16pm Mon 14 Jul 14

The Rover says...

This will not "destroy the setting of the medieval city and Abbey". It is nowhere near it and will have no impact on the Abbey or St Albans City whatsoever. The whole purpose of this terminal is to take traffic off the roads and onto the rails. It will have a positive impact on employment in the area. All of the negatives of this scheme have been exaggerated. It has the potential to create thousands of local jobs, which is a good thing. Even if 10,000 people have signed a petition that is a fraction of the population in the area, and I am sure many have signed as a result of a list of exaggerated negatives, but with no mention of the positive affect it will have on the area.
This will not "destroy the setting of the medieval city and Abbey". It is nowhere near it and will have no impact on the Abbey or St Albans City whatsoever. The whole purpose of this terminal is to take traffic off the roads and onto the rails. It will have a positive impact on employment in the area. All of the negatives of this scheme have been exaggerated. It has the potential to create thousands of local jobs, which is a good thing. Even if 10,000 people have signed a petition that is a fraction of the population in the area, and I am sure many have signed as a result of a list of exaggerated negatives, but with no mention of the positive affect it will have on the area. The Rover
  • Score: 23

6:20pm Mon 14 Jul 14

johnhornet says...

The Rover wrote:
This will not "destroy the setting of the medieval city and Abbey". It is nowhere near it and will have no impact on the Abbey or St Albans City whatsoever. The whole purpose of this terminal is to take traffic off the roads and onto the rails. It will have a positive impact on employment in the area. All of the negatives of this scheme have been exaggerated. It has the potential to create thousands of local jobs, which is a good thing. Even if 10,000 people have signed a petition that is a fraction of the population in the area, and I am sure many have signed as a result of a list of exaggerated negatives, but with no mention of the positive affect it will have on the area.
The Rover makes some good points. I'm not for or against this plan, but I've just looked at the STRIFE website and what a load of rubbish it contains....
"12 freight trains IN AND OUT, every 24 hours. Freight trains are renowned for breaking down"....... well not really. The Midland Mainline has freight already - the West Coast Mainline is awash with freight.
"The potential lack of inspection and maintenance on more intensively used tracks on the existing railway – which the developers are not intending to upgrade"....... 12 more trains each way a day - really????
"The safety and security of the trains on the site" - what does this even mean?
"Potentially hazardous cargo"....... I imagine there are rules about this that work for the whole of the rail network
"The effect on the local water table, aquifers, rivers and streams"........ and what is that then?

The problem is that if the 'against lobby' are only capable of coming up with useless arguments that look rubbish to a one-eyed hamster, there is no chance of fighting anything. Looking at the STRIFE website I am appalled by the sensationalist arguments which do nothing to stem debate.
[quote][p][bold]The Rover[/bold] wrote: This will not "destroy the setting of the medieval city and Abbey". It is nowhere near it and will have no impact on the Abbey or St Albans City whatsoever. The whole purpose of this terminal is to take traffic off the roads and onto the rails. It will have a positive impact on employment in the area. All of the negatives of this scheme have been exaggerated. It has the potential to create thousands of local jobs, which is a good thing. Even if 10,000 people have signed a petition that is a fraction of the population in the area, and I am sure many have signed as a result of a list of exaggerated negatives, but with no mention of the positive affect it will have on the area.[/p][/quote]The Rover makes some good points. I'm not for or against this plan, but I've just looked at the STRIFE website and what a load of rubbish it contains.... "12 freight trains IN AND OUT, every 24 hours. Freight trains are renowned for breaking down"....... well not really. The Midland Mainline has freight already - the West Coast Mainline is awash with freight. "The potential lack of inspection and maintenance on more intensively used tracks on the existing railway – which the developers are not intending to upgrade"....... 12 more trains each way a day - really???? "The safety and security of the trains on the site" - what does this even mean? "Potentially hazardous cargo"....... I imagine there are rules about this that work for the whole of the rail network "The effect on the local water table, aquifers, rivers and streams"........ and what is that then? The problem is that if the 'against lobby' are only capable of coming up with useless arguments that look rubbish to a one-eyed hamster, there is no chance of fighting anything. Looking at the STRIFE website I am appalled by the sensationalist arguments which do nothing to stem debate. johnhornet
  • Score: 33

6:22pm Mon 14 Jul 14

Oscar the fish says...

By coincidence there is activity on this site today with steel pipe being unloaded. Make your own mind up if this is the first step in ruining this green belt site.
By coincidence there is activity on this site today with steel pipe being unloaded. Make your own mind up if this is the first step in ruining this green belt site. Oscar the fish
  • Score: 0

7:01pm Mon 14 Jul 14

Slidingpillar says...

The main problem with this is that it's a Rail Terminal in name, but I bet over half the goods arriving on a lorry leave on a different lorry with no train journey at all. It's a Road Terminal really.
The main problem with this is that it's a Rail Terminal in name, but I bet over half the goods arriving on a lorry leave on a different lorry with no train journey at all. It's a Road Terminal really. Slidingpillar
  • Score: 10

7:20pm Mon 14 Jul 14

The Rover says...

Oscar the fish wrote:
By coincidence there is activity on this site today with steel pipe being unloaded. Make your own mind up if this is the first step in ruining this green belt site.
Could well be, but remember it could also be the first step in creating thousands of local jobs.
[quote][p][bold]Oscar the fish[/bold] wrote: By coincidence there is activity on this site today with steel pipe being unloaded. Make your own mind up if this is the first step in ruining this green belt site.[/p][/quote]Could well be, but remember it could also be the first step in creating thousands of local jobs. The Rover
  • Score: 11

8:02pm Mon 14 Jul 14

Gary_B says...

Even the developers have acknowledged that most of the jobs will be low paid menial positions that will not be filled by local people. They will be bussed in from Luton and other surrounding towns, thereby adding to the traffic mayhem this will cause.
Even the developers have acknowledged that most of the jobs will be low paid menial positions that will not be filled by local people. They will be bussed in from Luton and other surrounding towns, thereby adding to the traffic mayhem this will cause. Gary_B
  • Score: 4

8:17pm Mon 14 Jul 14

immutable says...

As of May last year, the most recent figures I can find with a quick Google, there were roughly 1100 people unemployed in St Albans so to fill these alleged '1000s' of jobs that will be created will involve drawing people in from other areas. And how will they get there? Not by public transport as there is hardly any so it will have to be by car. So not only will there be 3000 extra lorry movements there will be 1000s of extra car journeys added to the local roads, each and every day.
It is bad enough that this hideous development has been allowed against strong local opposition but what makes it even more incomprehensible is that the Council in Mid-Bedfordshire actually wants a railfreight terminal in Sundon. And to fill the 1000s of jobs that it will create there were roughly 6000 people unemployed in nearby Luton as of May last year.
So, when in future you are sitting gridlocked in St Albans because the M25 is closed remember its because of all the 1000s of extra 'local' jobs created at the RoadFreight, sorry, Railfreight Terminal.
As of May last year, the most recent figures I can find with a quick Google, there were roughly 1100 people unemployed in St Albans so to fill these alleged '1000s' of jobs that will be created will involve drawing people in from other areas. And how will they get there? Not by public transport as there is hardly any so it will have to be by car. So not only will there be 3000 extra lorry movements there will be 1000s of extra car journeys added to the local roads, each and every day. It is bad enough that this hideous development has been allowed against strong local opposition but what makes it even more incomprehensible is that the Council in Mid-Bedfordshire actually wants a railfreight terminal in Sundon. And to fill the 1000s of jobs that it will create there were roughly 6000 people unemployed in nearby Luton as of May last year. So, when in future you are sitting gridlocked in St Albans because the M25 is closed remember its because of all the 1000s of extra 'local' jobs created at the RoadFreight, sorry, Railfreight Terminal. immutable
  • Score: 12

8:31pm Mon 14 Jul 14

Gary_B says...

I'm sure the reported meetings between Simon Hoare and a certain member of the Government had more than a little to do with this decision. It certainly flies in the face of all logic. The roads can't handle the traffic now, let alone the traffic that will be created by this. There are no local people to fill the jobs. There is no direct link to the Motorway network. There will be a massive effect on passenger rail traffic. House prices will suffer. The negatives go on and on. The positives? Well, Segro will make a few bob.
I'm sure the reported meetings between Simon Hoare and a certain member of the Government had more than a little to do with this decision. It certainly flies in the face of all logic. The roads can't handle the traffic now, let alone the traffic that will be created by this. There are no local people to fill the jobs. There is no direct link to the Motorway network. There will be a massive effect on passenger rail traffic. House prices will suffer. The negatives go on and on. The positives? Well, Segro will make a few bob. Gary_B
  • Score: 3

8:39pm Mon 14 Jul 14

Azaleaman says...

There are no positives for the implementation of a railfreight depot in the St Albans greater area. The Rover and johnhornet do not realise what a great disruption this site truly will be to our daily lives. Besides, the CO2, light and noise pollution, there will be utter gridlock where we currently live in the London Colney Parish. It is inconceivable that a decision was made to put something like this in one of the already most congested areas of the UK. Oh yeah let's take the freight off the roads, but how about we cram more lorries into Hertfordshire. Where the heck are they supposed to go? This site is not fit for purpose. We have a really nice farm on that plot that has been going for over 75 years and we want to replace it with warehouses. I love the priorities that this government has over the general welfare of its own populace.

Let's keep fighting people. The more that people understand how their daily lives will be impacted, the less likelihood that this will happen. And remember that this is not over til it's over.
There are no positives for the implementation of a railfreight depot in the St Albans greater area. The Rover and johnhornet do not realise what a great disruption this site truly will be to our daily lives. Besides, the CO2, light and noise pollution, there will be utter gridlock where we currently live in the London Colney Parish. It is inconceivable that a decision was made to put something like this in one of the already most congested areas of the UK. Oh yeah let's take the freight off the roads, but how about we cram more lorries into Hertfordshire. Where the heck are they supposed to go? This site is not fit for purpose. We have a really nice farm on that plot that has been going for over 75 years and we want to replace it with warehouses. I love the priorities that this government has over the general welfare of its own populace. Let's keep fighting people. The more that people understand how their daily lives will be impacted, the less likelihood that this will happen. And remember that this is not over til it's over. Azaleaman
  • Score: -6

10:52pm Mon 14 Jul 14

johnhornet says...

Azaleaman wrote:
There are no positives for the implementation of a railfreight depot in the St Albans greater area. The Rover and johnhornet do not realise what a great disruption this site truly will be to our daily lives. Besides, the CO2, light and noise pollution, there will be utter gridlock where we currently live in the London Colney Parish. It is inconceivable that a decision was made to put something like this in one of the already most congested areas of the UK. Oh yeah let's take the freight off the roads, but how about we cram more lorries into Hertfordshire. Where the heck are they supposed to go? This site is not fit for purpose. We have a really nice farm on that plot that has been going for over 75 years and we want to replace it with warehouses. I love the priorities that this government has over the general welfare of its own populace.

Let's keep fighting people. The more that people understand how their daily lives will be impacted, the less likelihood that this will happen. And remember that this is not over til it's over.
I didn't say that I was pro this development. Indeed on balance I think its not a great idea as the roads aren't great now and we seem to find loads of excused to build on green belt. (There are cases this year or green belt being undesignated in Garston and Croxley)

After reading the article I looked at the STRIFE website and was appalled by the sensationalized views. Some of the points I illustrated above (and many others) are just rubbish and do nothing to push the cause. They lead some people to doubt the reasoning of the important issues. I'm sure that the people leading STRIFE have got the best intentions, but anger and worry have clouded judgment and reason.
[quote][p][bold]Azaleaman[/bold] wrote: There are no positives for the implementation of a railfreight depot in the St Albans greater area. The Rover and johnhornet do not realise what a great disruption this site truly will be to our daily lives. Besides, the CO2, light and noise pollution, there will be utter gridlock where we currently live in the London Colney Parish. It is inconceivable that a decision was made to put something like this in one of the already most congested areas of the UK. Oh yeah let's take the freight off the roads, but how about we cram more lorries into Hertfordshire. Where the heck are they supposed to go? This site is not fit for purpose. We have a really nice farm on that plot that has been going for over 75 years and we want to replace it with warehouses. I love the priorities that this government has over the general welfare of its own populace. Let's keep fighting people. The more that people understand how their daily lives will be impacted, the less likelihood that this will happen. And remember that this is not over til it's over.[/p][/quote]I didn't say that I was pro this development. Indeed on balance I think its not a great idea as the roads aren't great now and we seem to find loads of excused to build on green belt. (There are cases this year or green belt being undesignated in Garston and Croxley) After reading the article I looked at the STRIFE website and was appalled by the sensationalized views. Some of the points I illustrated above (and many others) are just rubbish and do nothing to push the cause. They lead some people to doubt the reasoning of the important issues. I'm sure that the people leading STRIFE have got the best intentions, but anger and worry have clouded judgment and reason. johnhornet
  • Score: 9

12:22am Tue 15 Jul 14

drunkenduck says...

Does this mean those who live nearby those rich folk in those multi-million pound houses. Does this mean the houses prices will drop flat in price, oh dear..

The land was once an aerodrome site and just like Leavesden aerodrome site, and it got redeveloped for the good or the bad. But do understand what many folks know or haven't been told or unaware of that; The "Metropolitan Green Belt" was the first such area of protected open land to be mooted in the United Kingdom, by the Greater London Regional Planning Committee in 1935. The Green Belt (London and Home Counties) Act 1938 permitted local authorities around London to purchase land to be protected as open space and enter into covenants with landowners that open spaces would not be given over to development. The Town and Country Planning Act 1947 permitted local authorities to designate areas to be protected as part of the green belt within their development plans.

So once again this government has re-writing the laws for the purpose of funding/helping the developers to destroy our greenbelt & countrysite land. When themselves should be protecting it.

But it is a great shame not those folks who're against the redeveloped, but once again we're losing our heritage to a building site. As Handley Page Ltd who build the The Handley Page Halifax was one of the four-engined heavy bombers of the Royal Air Force during the Second World War and the The Handley Page Victor bomber prototype was built there.

But, you can't compare this to the damage the HS2 is going to cause to the Chilterns and the rest on the countryside, as that is pure countryside and shouldn't be built. After all HS2 is going to be used those you can afford the rail ticket i.e the rich who 'can' live in Radlett, St Albans were houses prices are at a premium.
Does this mean those who live nearby those rich folk in those multi-million pound houses. Does this mean the houses prices will drop flat in price, oh dear.. The land was once an aerodrome site and just like Leavesden aerodrome site, and it got redeveloped for the good or the bad. But do understand what many folks know or haven't been told or unaware of that; The "Metropolitan Green Belt" was the first such area of protected open land to be mooted in the United Kingdom, by the Greater London Regional Planning Committee in 1935. The Green Belt (London and Home Counties) Act 1938 permitted local authorities around London to purchase land to be protected as open space and enter into covenants with landowners that open spaces would not be given over to development. The Town and Country Planning Act 1947 permitted local authorities to designate areas to be protected as part of the green belt within their development plans. So once again this government has re-writing the laws for the purpose of funding/helping the developers to destroy our greenbelt & countrysite land. When themselves should be protecting it. But it is a great shame not those folks who're against the redeveloped, but once again we're losing our heritage to a building site. As Handley Page Ltd who build the The Handley Page Halifax was one of the four-engined heavy bombers of the Royal Air Force during the Second World War and the The Handley Page Victor bomber prototype was built there. But, you can't compare this to the damage the HS2 is going to cause to the Chilterns and the rest on the countryside, as that is pure countryside and shouldn't be built. After all HS2 is going to be used those you can afford the rail ticket i.e the rich who 'can' live in Radlett, St Albans were houses prices are at a premium. drunkenduck
  • Score: -1

7:48am Tue 15 Jul 14

onlyonerodthomas says...

the traffic at the moment in peak times is ridiculous.have you tried to pull out of harper lane,smug oak lane,park st lane onto watling st?.what about queueing all the way to the m10 roundabout from park street station most mornings.the overstretched a405 is a joke as well.then try shoe horning in all the extra cars and lorries to build and run this terrible idea.i wonder if the softener of a "play area,park land" to be developed as well will be lost amonst all the rushed paperwork.
the traffic at the moment in peak times is ridiculous.have you tried to pull out of harper lane,smug oak lane,park st lane onto watling st?.what about queueing all the way to the m10 roundabout from park street station most mornings.the overstretched a405 is a joke as well.then try shoe horning in all the extra cars and lorries to build and run this terrible idea.i wonder if the softener of a "play area,park land" to be developed as well will be lost amonst all the rushed paperwork. onlyonerodthomas
  • Score: 6

8:02am Tue 15 Jul 14

JohnnyHornet says...

That's your Tory government for you, and if you thought Labour would have done any differently think again, wake up and smell the coffee, they pay lip service to the electorate, you can't keep shuffling the same pack of cards and expect different results......change the pack.
That's your Tory government for you, and if you thought Labour would have done any differently think again, wake up and smell the coffee, they pay lip service to the electorate, you can't keep shuffling the same pack of cards and expect different results......change the pack. JohnnyHornet
  • Score: -3

8:23am Tue 15 Jul 14

TFEB says...

drunkenduck wrote:
Does this mean those who live nearby those rich folk in those multi-million pound houses. Does this mean the houses prices will drop flat in price, oh dear..

The land was once an aerodrome site and just like Leavesden aerodrome site, and it got redeveloped for the good or the bad. But do understand what many folks know or haven't been told or unaware of that; The "Metropolitan Green Belt" was the first such area of protected open land to be mooted in the United Kingdom, by the Greater London Regional Planning Committee in 1935. The Green Belt (London and Home Counties) Act 1938 permitted local authorities around London to purchase land to be protected as open space and enter into covenants with landowners that open spaces would not be given over to development. The Town and Country Planning Act 1947 permitted local authorities to designate areas to be protected as part of the green belt within their development plans.

So once again this government has re-writing the laws for the purpose of funding/helping the developers to destroy our greenbelt & countrysite land. When themselves should be protecting it.

But it is a great shame not those folks who're against the redeveloped, but once again we're losing our heritage to a building site. As Handley Page Ltd who build the The Handley Page Halifax was one of the four-engined heavy bombers of the Royal Air Force during the Second World War and the The Handley Page Victor bomber prototype was built there.

But, you can't compare this to the damage the HS2 is going to cause to the Chilterns and the rest on the countryside, as that is pure countryside and shouldn't be built. After all HS2 is going to be used those you can afford the rail ticket i.e the rich who 'can' live in Radlett, St Albans were houses prices are at a premium.
"Does this mean those who live nearby those rich folk in those multi-million pound houses. Does this mean the houses prices will drop flat in price, oh dear.."

No it doesn't as this is Park Street where there are very few multi-million pound houses. , Some people think Radlett Aerodrome is in Radlett in Hertsmere, where there are expensive houses. The aerodrome in not even in Hertsmere, never mind Radlett and the nearest of these expensive houses is over a mile from the aerodrome with the M25 in between, so there will be little effect there.

The big effect will be on the local roads especially near the A414-A405-A5183 roundabout. The only way to reduce this would be direct access to the M25 at the southern end of the site, but this is unlikely to happen.
[quote][p][bold]drunkenduck[/bold] wrote: Does this mean those who live nearby those rich folk in those multi-million pound houses. Does this mean the houses prices will drop flat in price, oh dear.. The land was once an aerodrome site and just like Leavesden aerodrome site, and it got redeveloped for the good or the bad. But do understand what many folks know or haven't been told or unaware of that; The "Metropolitan Green Belt" was the first such area of protected open land to be mooted in the United Kingdom, by the Greater London Regional Planning Committee in 1935. The Green Belt (London and Home Counties) Act 1938 permitted local authorities around London to purchase land to be protected as open space and enter into covenants with landowners that open spaces would not be given over to development. The Town and Country Planning Act 1947 permitted local authorities to designate areas to be protected as part of the green belt within their development plans. So once again this government has re-writing the laws for the purpose of funding/helping the developers to destroy our greenbelt & countrysite land. When themselves should be protecting it. But it is a great shame not those folks who're against the redeveloped, but once again we're losing our heritage to a building site. As Handley Page Ltd who build the The Handley Page Halifax was one of the four-engined heavy bombers of the Royal Air Force during the Second World War and the The Handley Page Victor bomber prototype was built there. But, you can't compare this to the damage the HS2 is going to cause to the Chilterns and the rest on the countryside, as that is pure countryside and shouldn't be built. After all HS2 is going to be used those you can afford the rail ticket i.e the rich who 'can' live in Radlett, St Albans were houses prices are at a premium.[/p][/quote]"Does this mean those who live nearby those rich folk in those multi-million pound houses. Does this mean the houses prices will drop flat in price, oh dear.." No it doesn't as this is Park Street where there are very few multi-million pound houses. , Some people think Radlett Aerodrome is in Radlett in Hertsmere, where there are expensive houses. The aerodrome in not even in Hertsmere, never mind Radlett and the nearest of these expensive houses is over a mile from the aerodrome with the M25 in between, so there will be little effect there. The big effect will be on the local roads especially near the A414-A405-A5183 roundabout. The only way to reduce this would be direct access to the M25 at the southern end of the site, but this is unlikely to happen. TFEB
  • Score: 2

8:55am Tue 15 Jul 14

calvincox says...

I have a vested interest here in that my home will be one of the closest to the development. In principal I am not opposed to a railfreight terminal but as ever in the UK when we put in infrastructure the execution leaves much to be desired. For these reasons I cannot support it at all. This development has some glaring issues which are obvious to those who live in the area or who have made even the briefest inspection of the plan.

1. Roads. There is no direct link to the M25 which is immediately adjacent to the site. To say that the local roads can't cope is an understatement. I strongly suspect that the resultant road chaos may significantly curtail it's usefulness. Indeed most of the other freight sites are not used to capacity and this could become a very large white elephant. If a real roadlink to the site was installed it would make a real difference.
2.. The sheds are not of a current modern design. They will be installed as show in the plans. There is not visual effort to minimise their appearance on the local landscape. Newer designs have colout grading to conceal their scale. These new sheds won't have that. But that makes them nice and cheap so the developer will be delighted.
3. Rail. The Midland Mainline route operates at capacity already. The suggestion that this will be used as a railfreight terminal rather than just a lorry terminal is hilarious. Obviously National Rail have stated that there is capacity but given that they stand to benefit from access fees they are no less biased that anybody else.

This is a poorly executed design, done on the cheap for the benefit of the developers and National Rail. It's in the wrong place given the design of the links to the local road network and on a trainline than any commuter will tell you is extremely fragile.

It's also clear that the decision to grant approval is driven by unseen politics and favours. It has actually been turned down 3 times by ministers including Mr Pickles. Hilariously(?), the only reason he was forced to revisit his decision was on a technicality of process which the developers appealed to the High Court on. The didn't even contest the decision, just the process that he used to make the decision. And so here we are.

You can be sure that this will run and run though. I suspect that there is much to be revealed here and given the Toreis will now certainly lose both local MPs the next government may be forced to revisit this. That is, of course, unless HCC decide to build homes on their piece of the land which would torpedo the whole thing.
I have a vested interest here in that my home will be one of the closest to the development. In principal I am not opposed to a railfreight terminal but as ever in the UK when we put in infrastructure the execution leaves much to be desired. For these reasons I cannot support it at all. This development has some glaring issues which are obvious to those who live in the area or who have made even the briefest inspection of the plan. 1. Roads. There is no direct link to the M25 which is immediately adjacent to the site. To say that the local roads can't cope is an understatement. I strongly suspect that the resultant road chaos may significantly curtail it's usefulness. Indeed most of the other freight sites are not used to capacity and this could become a very large white elephant. If a real roadlink to the site was installed it would make a real difference. 2.. The sheds are not of a current modern design. They will be installed as show in the plans. There is not visual effort to minimise their appearance on the local landscape. Newer designs have colout grading to conceal their scale. These new sheds won't have that. But that makes them nice and cheap so the developer will be delighted. 3. Rail. The Midland Mainline route operates at capacity already. The suggestion that this will be used as a railfreight terminal rather than just a lorry terminal is hilarious. Obviously National Rail have stated that there is capacity but given that they stand to benefit from access fees they are no less biased that anybody else. This is a poorly executed design, done on the cheap for the benefit of the developers and National Rail. It's in the wrong place given the design of the links to the local road network and on a trainline than any commuter will tell you is extremely fragile. It's also clear that the decision to grant approval is driven by unseen politics and favours. It has actually been turned down 3 times by ministers including Mr Pickles. Hilariously(?), the only reason he was forced to revisit his decision was on a technicality of process which the developers appealed to the High Court on. The didn't even contest the decision, just the process that he used to make the decision. And so here we are. You can be sure that this will run and run though. I suspect that there is much to be revealed here and given the Toreis will now certainly lose both local MPs the next government may be forced to revisit this. That is, of course, unless HCC decide to build homes on their piece of the land which would torpedo the whole thing. calvincox
  • Score: 6

9:51am Tue 15 Jul 14

Gary_B says...

We should campaign for them to sell the land to the locals in 1m square blocks with conditions that it be used as a wildlife reserve. I'd buy a few.
We should campaign for them to sell the land to the locals in 1m square blocks with conditions that it be used as a wildlife reserve. I'd buy a few. Gary_B
  • Score: 6

10:32am Tue 15 Jul 14

Bobbio says...

I agree with the Rover and John Horner. It will not have much impact on the City of St Albans, The main impact will be on the south of the District of St Albans. It was always going to happen but there had to be a small show of democracy so that locals could express their views and then be told it is in the national interest. One thing that the planners could press for is diret access to the M25 to relieve pressure on local roads
I agree with the Rover and John Horner. It will not have much impact on the City of St Albans, The main impact will be on the south of the District of St Albans. It was always going to happen but there had to be a small show of democracy so that locals could express their views and then be told it is in the national interest. One thing that the planners could press for is diret access to the M25 to relieve pressure on local roads Bobbio
  • Score: 6

12:54pm Tue 15 Jul 14

mr_jrt says...

I do share the concerns of the locals, but this location is too unique to go to waste in my opinion. I am concerned about the Midland line's capacity issues, and I suspect the only solution to those will be to do what the old Midland railway once planned before it was nationalised - to extend its separate freight lines from Hendon to St Albans. We shall see if this comes to pass.

Additionally, this project could be a great shot in the arm for the beleaguered Watford-St Albans line. Upgrading that with a second track and restoring the link across the aerodrome site would enable the terminal to have rail access to the West Coast line as well, and the additional capacity on that line could enable more intensive passenger services on it. How Wood would be a useful station for workers from Watford to access the site.

Really though, the developers should be pressed to contribute to both improved motorway access to the site as well as the rail improvements to the Abbey and Midland lines in exchange for being able to build the terminal - if they won't stump up, no terminal.
I do share the concerns of the locals, but this location is too unique to go to waste in my opinion. I am concerned about the Midland line's capacity issues, and I suspect the only solution to those will be to do what the old Midland railway once planned before it was nationalised - to extend its separate freight lines from Hendon to St Albans. We shall see if this comes to pass. Additionally, this project could be a great shot in the arm for the beleaguered Watford-St Albans line. Upgrading that with a second track and restoring the link across the aerodrome site would enable the terminal to have rail access to the West Coast line as well, and the additional capacity on that line could enable more intensive passenger services on it. How Wood would be a useful station for workers from Watford to access the site. Really though, the developers should be pressed to contribute to both improved motorway access to the site as well as the rail improvements to the Abbey and Midland lines in exchange for being able to build the terminal - if they won't stump up, no terminal. mr_jrt
  • Score: 8

2:08pm Tue 15 Jul 14

shalvey says...

Time to invest in the Abbey rail line me thinks!
Time to invest in the Abbey rail line me thinks! shalvey
  • Score: 5

4:16pm Tue 15 Jul 14

miwe2 says...

Nimbys spouting exagerated rubbish. Six months after completion no one will notice the difference.
Nimbys spouting exagerated rubbish. Six months after completion no one will notice the difference. miwe2
  • Score: 1

1:31pm Wed 16 Jul 14

garston tony says...

The likelyhood is that the same objections (valid or not) would be put up at any proposed location for this terminal. So in essence the people that don’t want it near them are saying put it somewhere else so others ‘suffer’. Nice.

Of course the flip side is that it will bring some benefits also. Jobs have been mentioned and even if not the best paid that’s still a lot of people that would be gainfully employed instead of claiming benefits. And no they wont all be people from St Albans, but I do find it funny how people living in a commuter town are complaining about other people commuting there to work!

Nimby is certainly the word that springs to mind
The likelyhood is that the same objections (valid or not) would be put up at any proposed location for this terminal. So in essence the people that don’t want it near them are saying put it somewhere else so others ‘suffer’. Nice. Of course the flip side is that it will bring some benefits also. Jobs have been mentioned and even if not the best paid that’s still a lot of people that would be gainfully employed instead of claiming benefits. And no they wont all be people from St Albans, but I do find it funny how people living in a commuter town are complaining about other people commuting there to work! Nimby is certainly the word that springs to mind garston tony
  • Score: 3

11:05am Fri 18 Jul 14

TFEB says...

Maybe Hertsmere's MP James Clappison did not fight harder against this as he knew he was standing down?
Maybe Hertsmere's MP James Clappison did not fight harder against this as he knew he was standing down? TFEB
  • Score: 1

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