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Rail freight decision day looms in St Albans

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A decision on whether to sell land in St Albans for a massive rail freight depot will be taken by the county council’s nine-man cabinet; only two members of the Cabinet represent the district.

The ‘executive decision’ on the sale of the 119-hectare portion of the former Radlett Airfield site owned by Herts county council has come under fire from St Albans MP Anne Main and pressure group STRiFE – Stop The Rail Freight Exchange.

They are both calling for the whole county council to give full consideration to any sale of the land to developers Helioslough. After years of public inquiries and legal action, Helioslough now has planning permission to build a Strategic Rail Freight Interchange (SRFI) on the Green Belt former airfield in Park Street.

But Mrs Main has been told by a chief legal officer at the county council that a decision on the future of the land and whether it should be sold would be made by cabinet following a recommendation from a cabinet panel. This would effectively exclude the full county council from any input into the outcome.