RADLETT airfield is "simply the wrong place" for a new rail freight terminal, according to the leader of Hertfordshire County Council.

David Beatty said the case for a terminal at Park Street remained flawed on environmental grounds and called for developers Helioslough Ltd to look elsewhere.

Speaking ahead of a public meeting tomorrow, he said: "The area is one of relatively high employment, so a vast proportion of the workforce would need to travel in by road each day.

"This, and the frequent lorry movements that would come with such a terminal, would have an unacceptable impact on traffic at a time when all our efforts are concentrated on reducing congestion.

"We still don't believe there are very special circumstances' that warrant such a development in the Green Belt, and it would clearly downgrade the landscape.

"Moving freight by rail is obviously preferable to road and we support the creation of this kind of depot, but a more suitable site must be found.

"We will back St Albans Council all the way on this - Radlett Airfield is simply the wrong place for a depot."

The county council objected to the proposal for a terminal when it was consulted as the highways authority at the end of last year.

In February St Albans District Council refused planning permission and an appeal is underway.

The public meeting is being held between 10am and 11.30am in the Alban Arena and will feature a number of speakers.