Radlett await second judicial review decision as holiday delay rejected

Friday’s second High Court hearing into St Albans District Council’s request for a judicial review on a conjoined Colnbrook and Radlett rail freight inquiry went ahead as planned on Friday after a request for more time was thrown out.

The former Tanhouse Gravel Pits, site of the proposed Slough International Freight Exchange (SIFE)

St Albans District Council is seeking a judicial review into Secretary of State Eric Pickles’ “minded to approve” decision in December for a rail freight interchange on the former Radlett Aerodrome site. It believes Pickles’ should stick to his earlier view that Radlett and Colnbrook should be considered in a joint inquiry.

However, Friday saw the High Court refuse St Alban’s request for more time to prepare for its case – due to its barrister being away on holiday – and it is understood that the oral hearing before a second judge went ahead as planned.

Hertfordshire County Council and developer Helioslough were given an extended deadline of November 15 to reach an S106 agreement.

Meanwhile, the Radlett campaign has further exposed the massive disparity in opposition for the rival schemes.

rail freight epetitions

A e-petition on the Hertfordshire County Council consultation portal calling for the Council to refuse to sell land to Helioslough closed with over 10,500 signatures and an automatic debate by the full council.

And a new petition on the Government e-petitions site has already managed well over 1,000 signatures since it was started in February.

It says:

It is totally inapropriate for the Government to agree to build a Rail Freight Terminal in Park St Hertfordshire on Green Belt Land.

No one wants it except the developer, that includes the Local and County Council who own the land.

This will create 2000 additional vehicle movements per day plus noise and environmental pollution all on Green Belt Land in the middle of a residential area.

Once this is built its here for ever so the government need to make sure they make the right decision no second chances if they get it wrong.

This will create misery for thousands of local people and it must be stopped.

Should Radlett muster 100,000 signatures before next February it gains the right for a further debate in Parliament (remember – it has already managed one).

In contrast the equivalent e-petition against SIFE – begun exactly 5 months earlier – has still only managed just 17 signatures.

The disinterest is worse than even an earlier online survey on Colnbrook Views for ten months in 2011 which managed 116 votes, albeit with 85% opposed to the development.

While apathy of Colnbrook’s transitory population has proven to be a huge problem in mustering opposition to SIFE, community leaders have put petty differences before embracing the campaign and, no doubt, given encouragement to Goodman, Eric Pickles and Radlett to bring forward their plans at the earliest opportunity.


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