A housing development on the Radlett airfield site could raise "five or six times" more money for the county council than an unpopular rail freight development.

The decision to defer the sale of the former aerodrome was made by Hertfordshire councillors yesterday (Monday).

The St Albans Review revealed on Friday how prospective parliamentary candidate for St Albans, Kerry Pollard, planned to build houses on the site.

He said: "We are meeting with Taylor Wimpey on Tuesday to make sure they’re absolutely focussed on the way forward.

"There is only a small window to take advantage of here. Next we need to broker a meeting with the county council to start talking about the details.

"I’m really pleased we managed to put this thing together in three short weeks, the council will get five or six times what they would have received from Helioslough.

"This is the biggest result for St Albans for a number years."

Mr Pollard said the details of the planning agreement would take a couple of years to put together.

Reports this week suggested the airfield could be bought by St Albans City Football Club.

Co-owner of the club John McGowan said he would be interested in working with a developer to build a new stadium on the site.

He said the club was initially prepared to offer £1.2 million to buy the site, which they understood to be worth £1.7 million, as reported wrongly in other local newspapers.

However, Robert Gordon, leader of the council, dismissed this figure yesterday, suggesting the land was worth "ten times that".

Mr McGowan said: "The club is not sustainable at the moment and we have made an application to see if we can be included within the s106 agreement if at all possible.

"I’m happy to link up with a developer, whether it is housing scheme or not, it’s an ideal opportunity.

"It’s only a big maybe, we’re trying to foot in the door and it’s really difficult."