Rail freight: St Albans District Council to challenge the Government’s decision to approve plans

Rail freight: St Albans District Council to challenge the Government’s decision to approve plans

Rail freight: St Albans District Council to challenge the Government’s decision to approve plans

First published in News by

St Albans District Council has lodged a claim in the High Court to challenge the Government’s decision to approve plans for a huge rail freight terminal on a Green Belt site.

The claim challenges Eric Pickles' decision to grant planning permission for a rail freight terminal in Park Street, near St Albans.

Mr Pickles, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, decided to allow a second appeal brought by Helioslough Limited in July - which concerned the council’s refusal of planning permission for a strategic rail freight interchange on the former Radlett aerodrome site.

The council is challenging the decision on three points of law - the first concerned with the legality of the Secretary of State’s approach in taking his decision.

The second ground for appeal relates to the misapplication of wording in the National Planning Policy Framework, a document that sets out planning policy nationally. The third ground for challenge relates to "procedural irregularity and inconsistency" on the rail freight interchange decision. 

This follows the Secretary of State’s recent refusal of planning permission for a waste incinerator plant, also on Green Belt land, at New Barnfield in Hatfield.

The council’s leader and portfolio holder for planning and conservation Julian Daly said: "The council considers that the proposed rail freight interchange at this site will be harmful to the District’s Green Belt.  

"We believe that the Secretary of State’s recent decision to grant planning permission is flawed legally.  We are therefore taking action to challenge the decision in the High Court."

St Albans MP Anne Main said she was pleased the council were fighting the proposal.

She said: "I have never been happy with the decision taken by the Secretary of State. Very similar proposals have been refused on two previous occasions and I believe this should also be refused. 

"I am outraged that this David and Goliath fight is costing my council so much to stand up for the people of St Albans and defend its own robust planning policies. I will continue to do all I can to fight this proposal and to assist the Council with their challenge."

The council has spent more than £1 million to date in the seven-year fight against the Helioslough scheme. 

 

Comments (2)

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1:54pm Tue 2 Sep 14

fight rates says...

This council is anti Business and anti jobs. Here we have an opportunity to create more employment & opportunities for local business. At the same time it gives planning permission to knock down our pubs & offices to turn them into houses. They then increase parking charges & introduce Sunday parking charges. Please tell me why the council is so anti economic development?
This council is anti Business and anti jobs. Here we have an opportunity to create more employment & opportunities for local business. At the same time it gives planning permission to knock down our pubs & offices to turn them into houses. They then increase parking charges & introduce Sunday parking charges. Please tell me why the council is so anti economic development? fight rates
  • Score: -5

8:28pm Tue 2 Sep 14

Gary_B says...

fight rates, you obviously haven't done your homework. Even the developers admit that most of the low paid menial jobs that will be created wouldn't go to local people. They would arrive by bus and car from places like Luton, Hatfield and London, thereby adding to the 3000+ lorries that that this would put on local roads that are already full for much of the day.

Pubs get turned into houses because fewer people are using them and their overheads are massive. Therefore they aren't viable as pubs.
fight rates, you obviously haven't done your homework. Even the developers admit that most of the low paid menial jobs that will be created wouldn't go to local people. They would arrive by bus and car from places like Luton, Hatfield and London, thereby adding to the 3000+ lorries that that this would put on local roads that are already full for much of the day. Pubs get turned into houses because fewer people are using them and their overheads are massive. Therefore they aren't viable as pubs. Gary_B
  • Score: 6

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