In further local reaction to Eric Pickles’ decision two days ago, Cllr Dexter Smith has said the decision not to re-open the Radlett Inquiry and combine it with the SIFE Inquiry “is good news on two counts”.
Conservative ward Councillor for Colnbrook with Poyle and Parish Councillor has joined Cllr Walsh in welcoming the news about the Radlett decision a few weeks ago.
Dexter says that it means, first, that Colnbrook people will not be asked to go to Inquiry sessions miles away if they want to be heard; second, that the Secretary of State already has enough information on Radlett to make a decision.
Cllr Smith told Colnbrook Views that the
“implies that it is accepted that not enough weight was given first time round to the unsuitability of Colnbrook as an alternative due to the strategic importance of our green-field land north of the by-pass forming a break in the urban sprawl of London, stopping it linking up with that of Slough.”
Cllr Smith believes that approving the rail freight interchange on the former Radlett Aerodrome site the case for the Slough International Freight Exchange (SIFE) is greatly diminished.
“Whilst it is true that the “need” case for SIFE is blown away if a multimodal rail terminal at Radlett is given the go ahead; it is not true, should Radlett be refused, that SIFE is an alternative for it, on the grounds that the SIFE site is much smaller site and it is not on a main freight route to the Midlands and the North, where the demand lies.”
A date for the delayed Planning Inquiry for SIFE is expected to be announced in the New Year.