Railfreight: St Albans council 'must stand united as one voice' as it seeks legal advice over ruling (From St Albans & Harpenden Review)
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Railfreight: St Albans council 'must stand united as one voice' as it seeks legal advice over ruling
St Albans District Council is currently seeking legal advice to challenge the Government’s decision to approve plans for a huge rail freight terminal near Park Street.
During a St Albans full council meeting last night Mike Lovelady said the council has sent the decision to legal advisors to ask whether there are grounds for them to seek a Section 288 challenge of the Town and Country Act 1990 in the High Court to quash the current decision.
Mr Lovelady explained that the council hope to have their legal advice returned by next Tuesday in order to consider their position.
On Monday the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles rubberstamped proposals for a 300-acre terminal on Green Belt land in Park Street.
The controversial decision takes the development on the former Radlett aerodrome one step further. However Hertfordshire County Council, which owns the land, will make the final decision.
During a debate Liberal Democrat Councillor Chris Brazier said: This does have a profound effect on the district and the way people view us if this goes ahead.
"We are seen as a cultural tourism hub and we will suddenly be seen as a rail freight terminal."
While Labour Councillor Katherine Gardner said councillors had to stand united.
She said: "We must stand united as one voice as we condemn this decision as being a disaster for this area.
"It is a shameful decision giving no respect whatsoever for the opinion of this district council, for the people of this area, for the road users of this area, for the rail users that go in and out of the main line.
"I hope that there is anything this council, these councillors, our legal advisors and our group leaders can do to stop this monstrous development going ahead and ruining this part of St Albans."
Conservative Park Street Councillor Stephen Bowes-Phipps added: "For all of us we are united against this decision. It is incredibly disappointing and flies in the face of both reason and economics
"It is difficult to get your head around how much green belt is lost in this district. St Albans isn’t looking so countryside anymore.
"For three villages, they are going to have their quality of life damaged beyond repair.
" The ancient city views of St Albans are going to be ruined, pollution and congestion will make life a misery for hundreds and thousands- maybe even millions of people who live or travel through the south of St Albans for generations to come. "