Freight News, Rail

Updated: St Albans rail terminal clears planning hurdle

[ July 15, 2014   //   ]

Developer Helioslough has gained planning permission to build a controversial rail freight terminal on the site of the former Radlett Airfield. Planning Minister Nick Boles on behalf of Communities and Local Government Secretay Eric Pickles told St Albans MP Anne Main in a letter on 14 July that an appeal by Helioslough to build on the Green Belt land had been successful.

However, site owner Hertfordshire county council still needs to decide whether or not to sell the land to the developer.

The announcement was welcomed by manager of pressure group Freight on Rail, Philippa Edmunds, who said: “Radlett has become a test case because of its location in the South East where there is a lack of alternative sites with good road and rail connections. Developers should now have the confidence to build a network of strategic intermodal terminals, which make road/rail transhipment financially viable, as long as the Government’s National Networks National Policy Statement makes the need for strategic rail freight interchanges clear.”

The Rail Freight Group’s executive director, Maggie Simpson, said that the decision came almost five years after the public inquiry and almost a decade in the planning system. She said it was “a sign of Government’s ongoing commitment to helping the market build vital strategic rail freight interchanges that are so important to the future of the sector.”

And the Freight Transport Association’s director of global and European policy, Chris Welsh,said: it would be “a welcome boost for rail freight and will help industry meet challenging rail freight growth targets. FTA has long campaigned for increased rail freight development, and investment in rail connected intermodal terminals is crucial for future growth in domestic rail intermodal traffic.”


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