Beds, Herts & Bucks

Radlett rail depot: Plans approved by government

Approval has been granted for a huge international freight terminal on green belt land in Hertfordshire after eight years of protest.

The terminal is to be built on the Radlett Aerodrome site near St Albans.

The Department for Communities and Local Government approved the scheme and said the terminal was needed for London and south-east England.

St Albans City Council has always opposed developers Helioslough and said it was "disappointed".

The proposal for five warehouses served by railway sidings, first lodged by Helioslough in 2006, has faced opposition from residents in Radlett.

It was repeatedly blocked by ministers - most recently in 2010 - because of fears of damage to the green belt.

Landscape harm outweighed

Julian Daly, responsible for planning and conservation on St Albans City council, said he was disappointed with the decision.

The council is considering whether it has grounds to challenge the decision and is currently discussing the matter with its legal advisors.

A Department for Communities and Local Government spokesman said: "The local benefits brought by these proposals, for a country park, improvements to footpaths and bridleways and other transport upgrades, and the lack of appropriate alternative locations have all been deciding factors.

"The need for this rail infrastructure for London and the South East has been given considerable weight.

"All these elements combined have been found to clearly outweigh the harm to the landscape."

Anyone wishing to challenge the decision in the High Court must do so by 22 August.

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