Oliver's Column for My News - September 2020 (Aldenham Reservoir and Radlett Rail Freight)

As I always say, one of the great pleasures of living in our part of Hertfordshire is the countryside we have right on our doorstep. I grew up enjoying the green fields around Radlett and love the space and freedom it provides. It makes our towns and villages distinct and special places to live.  

This is why I am incredibly disappointed in the decision taken by St Albans District Council to remove the Park Street Garden Village from their local plan in favour of a rail freight terminal. I have consistently fought against this terminal. As I have said many times before, I do not want any developments on this site. But if it is to be developed, it is ludicrous that this land is used for a completely unnecessary rail freight terminal. 

There is an acute need for housing and in efforts to both provide housing and protect the green belt, the Park Street Garden Village site was vital. I will continue to fight against this terminal, which would have a detrimental impact on our local area. 

I have also made clear my ongoing concern about the developments at Aldenham Reservoir, including the decision by Liberty Lake Leisure to construct a fence around the lake. I have consistently fought to preserve this local jewel and have been following the developments closely. 

It is vitally important that we do not damage the reservoir’s wonderful open spaces and continue to retain public access. I continue to liaise with relevant local groups, constituents and agencies involved. I know Hertfordshire County Council did everything they could to work with LLL to reach an agreement about recording the footpath as a public right of way, ensuring public access is retained. 

I have lobbied the Environment Secretary to register my support for the footpath to be recorded as a public right of way and will continue to work on behalf of constituents and all involved to secure the future of Aldenham Reservoir. 

It is only through the hard work of so many local people that we are able to come together to protect our wonderful heritage and I pay tribute to everyone involved in these campaigns.