Oliver Calls on St Albans Council to Think Again Over Rail Freight Site

Oliver has today called for St Albans Council to think again over the site of the proposed Radlett rail freight terminal and allow it to be considered for much needed housing instead.

The call came in a letter to the Leader of the Council, Cllr Alec Campbell, following the publication of new housing need figures for St Albans which shows the Council will need to build over 900 homes a year by 2026 in order to keep up with demand, an increase of nearly 300 on the previous figure.

Speaking today, Oliver said: ‘With the publication of these new, increased figures and the decision by the High Court to reject St Albans’ original Local Plan, it is clear that the Council need to consider new sites for housing and conduct a full green belt review to identify these.

‘One of the sites that must be included within such a review is the proposed site of the freight terminal, given that outline planning permission has already been granted for this in spite of the existing green belt status.

‘As I established in Parliamentary Questions and a meeting with Cllr Campbell and the Planning Minister earlier this year, extant planning permission on a green belt site for nationally significant infrastructure does not preclude it being it included as part of a green belt review and subsequently made available for alternative bids, such as housing.

‘I have always said I do not want any development of this green belt land. But if it must be developed, it is ludicrous that the land can have planning permission for a rail freight terminal on it, but bids for desperately needed homes cannot be considered.

‘The Council must now consider this in order both to provide our community with those much needed new homes and to prevent the construction of an unnecessary freight terminal that would blight our precious countryside.

Attachments

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Letter to Cllr Alec Campbell - 20.09.17 486.5 KB