St Albans District Council is preparing to defend the decision not to grant planning permission for the Rail Freight Terminal and to identify funding to cover the estimated costs which could be up to £1million.
At Cabinet on Tuesday 10th July, funds to cover the costs were identified from existing budgets. If costs were to go above this amount provision would need to be made in the 2008/9 budget and Council would need to be consulted.
A suitable venue is being sought for the public inquiry and Cabinet agreed that the Chief Executive would look at the feasibility of using the Council Chamber as one of the possible options. The inquiry would require the venue to be available every day for approximately up to 12 weeks, so the impact of this would have to be considered.
Cllr Chris Brazier, Portfolio Holder for Planning and Conservation commented: “I realise everybody will feel that the costs are high, but we must defend our democratic right to refuse an unsuitable planning application. The Rail Freight Terminal would cause damage to the local environment, Highways have recommended refusal and the local people are against it and we will defend our decision to refuse on good planning grounds.”
Further information will be issued as soon as a date has been issued by the planning inspectorate and when a venue has been agreed.
Davina Mansell, Press Officer