Beds, Herts & Bucks

St Albans council threatens legal action over rail depot

Council leaders have threatened legal action against the government unless it looks again at plans for a rail freight depot in Hertfordshire.

St Albans council has asked the communities secretary to reopen the inquiry into the Radlett Airfield development he approved in December.

It wants Eric Pickles to tie it in with an inquiry into another rail depot at Colnbrook, near Slough.

The government said it would not comment.

St Albans council said the government's approval for the green-belt land proposal had been "flawed" because it did not take into account an assessment of both sites.

It said it will make a legal challenge if the secretary of state does not meet its request.

Planning permission for the rail freight terminal was originally refused by St Albans council in 2009.

Developer HelioSlough Ltd said its plans followed government policies to transport goods by rail and the terminal was needed to serve south-east England.

Following two appeals, Mr Pickles backed the development.

A spokeswoman for HelioSlough said it would not be commenting on the council's request.

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