Rail Freight planning inquiry to start 6 November

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News release: 19 September 2007

As a result of the refusal by the District Council's Planning Referrals Committee of the planning application for a Rail Freight Terminal submitted by Helio Slough in February 2007, an appeal was lodged.

A pre-inquiry meeting was held before Planning Inspector Andrew Martin Phillipson in the Council Chamber on Monday 17th September at 10am, where the meeting was attended by parties including Helio Slough, St Albans District Council, Hertsmere Council, Strife, The Civic Society, Watling Chase Community Forest Group, The Highways Agency and The Ramblers Association.

The meeting focused on issues such as the arrangements for the inquiry, the length of inquiry, the issues to be considered and the likely start date.

After hearing representations from all the parties involved, the Inspector announced on 18 September 2007 that the inquiry will commence on 6 November 2007. The inquiry will be held in the Council Chamber and arrangements will be made for a webcast of the first day.

The Council will be writing to approximately 9000 local residents who made representations at the application stage with details of the inquiry arrangements.

The Council envisages that it may cost up to £1M to defend the appeal and has set aside funds to cover this.

Cllr Chris Brazier, Portfolio Holder for Planning and Conservation, said:

"We must fight this appeal, I know the cost is high but we are defending the decision of this Council to refuse the application for a Rail Freight Terminal in Park Street".

Davina Mansell, Press Officer
Email: d.mansell@stalbans.gov.uk