Radlett residents are voting with their feet while here in Colnbrook apathy continues to be the watchword.
The e-petition organised by STRiFE, the well-organised campaign group against the Radlett Aerodrome rail freight interchange, has managed an amazing 4,205 signatures in just ten days.
The petition, on the Herts County Council website, is intended to persuade the council to maintain their current position and refuse to sell or lease the land in their ownership to Helioslough for the massive development. Eric Pickles, in his decision just before Christmas, made this a condition for the Radlett development to go ahead.
Meanwhile, the e-petition on the Government website objecting to SIFE has still only achieved SEVEN signatures in FOUR MONTHS!!!
Government e-petitions that achieve over 100,000 signatures gain an automatic right to be debated in Parliament. A similar e-petition organised by STRiFE in the early days of the Radlett project did … and was.
Vilage apathy and disinterest may be partially to blame, particularly as the threat moves into its third year of a “phoney war”. But the usual internal divisions and “not invented here” syndrome appears to be preventing residents and community groups from getting behind the petition, and the Parish Council in particular from embracing a campaign it claims to have put a the top of its agenda.
The opposition to SIFE was boosted by the Eric Pickle’s decision last month, in particular his change of heart on the importance of the Strategic Gap at Colnbrook. However, a public inquiry following the Goodman appeal is still imminent, and if STRiFE manage to persuade Herts to block the sale of land, the pressure will return to Colnbrook.
Goodman Ltd, the company behind the scheme, claimed “no outright objections to the proposal” from the neighbouring villages. In its Statement of Community Involvement submitted with the application, the company stated:
No outright objections to the proposals have been noted, although the principal concerns relating to traffic and the quantity of lorries on the bypass and through the village were frequently highlighted by both stakeholders and residents.
These concerns it subsequently reworked.
The lack of demonstrable support from Colnbrook and risible number of objections received by SBC will no doubt be significant when Eric Pickles has to consider the SIFE appeal in the next few months.
The Colne Valley Park released its Annual Report for 2012 this week.
It reported success in
- Restocking the community orchard at Albany Park;
- Running community activities and implementing improvements at Crown Meadow;
- Developing a plan for the Horton Brook and southern Colne Catchment; and
- Securing funding from Marks & Spencer, Grundon and Natural England.
While it also reported that it had provided “a robust response to the SIFE proposal and prepared for the planning enquiry”, noticeable for its absence was any planning against the further SIFE threat in 2013.
Why do YOU think so so few have signed the e-petition? Does Colnbrook now BACK the SIFE development? Let us have your views.