Anti-freight campaigner wants Colnbrook “strategic gap” designation

An opponent of the rail-freight interchange planned to be built in Radlett is continuing his campaign to have the depot scrutinised against “the same rules” as the SIFE development in Colnbrook.

radlett aerodrome

The former Radlett Aerodrome site

The massive SIFE development was rejected partly for the damage it would do to the “strategic gap” locally – that is, the part of the London Green Belt that separates Slough from London and is already most fragmented.

Hertfordshire resident Andy Love has submitted a Freedom of Information request to his local council, St Albans District Council, to find out if it had considered designating the former landfill site as a Strategic Gap and, if not, why not.

Strategic Gaps do not have intrinsic landscape value but are important in maintaining the settlement patterns, keeping individual settlements separate and providing opportunities for green corridors.

The story has been picked up by his local newspaper.

Mr Love said the issue could still be an important one because it would enable St Albans MP Anne Main to argue in government that the designation had now changed and the outline planning permission for the site shoud be revisited.

However, with no major settlements adjacent to the development site, or threat to identity, the prospect of strategic gap designation remains speculative.

Opponents of the Radlett freight interchange, including Mrs Main, lobbied hard for Colnbrook to be developed as an alternative.  SIFE was finally rejected on appeal earlier this year, but Heathrow’s Third Runway is now targeted for the site, supported by the Government and Slough Borough Council.

St Albans council has until tomorrow to respond to Mr Love’s FoI request.

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