An MP has echoed calls for housing to be built on land which has planning permission for a rail freight site.

St Albans MP Anne Main has thrown her support to the idea of housing and a potential garden village on the former Radlett Airfield site in Park Street, after she met with her Hertsmere colleague Oliver Dowden.

Developers HelioSlough were granted permission in 2014 for the Strategic Rail Freight Interchange by then communities’ secretary of state Eric Pickles but St Albans District Council appealed the decision.

The appeal was lost in the High Court, but a spanner was thrown in the works when the Hertfordshire County Council owned site was included in the district council’s local plan as a site for potential housing development – 2,000 homes has been suggested.

St Albans & Harpenden Review:

The site in question

Mrs Main met Mr Dowden, Park Street and Bricket Wood East district councillor Jock Wright, and prospective Conservative candidate for Park Street and Bricket Wood East, Claudio Duran, to discuss issues facing the area and the rail freight site was on the agenda.

Mr Dowden is concerned about the proposed SRFI and the “damaging impact” it could have on his constituency, with Radlett, which falls in Hertsmere, just up the road.

St Albans & Harpenden Review:

A satellite view of the area. Highlighted is the proposed site.

Explore the area using the embedded map.

Following the meeting, Mrs Main said: “It was a really helpful and important meeting for us all. Jock, Claudio and our excellent Conservative councillors are working extremely hard to improve the lives of everyone living in St Albans district. Their work on the proposed rail freight site highlights the diligence and passion they have for local issues that matter so much to the people of St Albans.

“I was really pleased that Oliver wanted to join our meeting as he has strongly opposed this dreadful plan for a rail freight site since he was elected. We will continue to coordinate with each other in the hope that this land will be used for the best interests of the people in the area. There is no doubt in my mind that this should be housing and not a rail freight site.”

St Albans & Harpenden Review:

from left to right - Hertsmere MP Oliver Dowden, Claudio Duran, St Albans MP Anne Main, and Jock Wright.