Railfreight: politicians calling on St Albans District Council to initiate a judicial review

Railfreight: politicians calling on St Albans District Council to initiate a judicial review

Railfreight: politicians calling on St Albans District Council to initiate a judicial review

First published in News St Albans & Harpenden Review: Photograph of the Author by , Senior Reporter

The chairman of London Colney Parish Council is calling on St Albans District Council to initiate a judicial review following the Government go-ahead for a rail freight terminal near Park Street.

Councillor Malcolm Macmillan said the "permanent damage" to London Colney and St Albans outweighed the "millions of pounds that will go in to the County bank account."

On Monday the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickle’s rubberstamped the controversial development and said the need for a 300 acre terminal on Green Belt land outweighed the harm to the landscape.

Councillor Macmillan said: "My council has resisted this application since it was first proposed and this decision will have a devastating environmental impact on the quality of life for our villagers. We call upon St Albans Council to initiate a judicial review."

County council bosses said they will now "take a view on the disposal of its own land" and although "factors weighing in favour of the development do not outweigh the harm it will cause" it will now take in to account the alternative uses and purposes of the land and how it will fulfil its "financially responsibility as owners of public assets".

He continued: "The county council should make a speedy decision to dispose of  their land for alternative uses and to state that they will not sell the green belt site to developers Helioslough or Network Rail.

"The permanent damage to our village and city far outweighs  the benefits from the  millions of pounds that will go into the County bank account."

St Albans District Council is currently in discussions with its legal advisors and is "carefully considering whether it has grounds to challenge the decision."

Any party wishing to challenge the Secretary of State’s decision in the High Court can do so by Friday, August 22.

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