Council set to challenge Secretary of State’s rail freight interchange planning decision in the High Court.

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News release: 22 August 2014
Rail
Council set to challenge Secretary of State’s rail freight interchange planning decision in the High Court.

St Albans City and District Council has lodged a claim in the High Court.  The claim challenges the Secretary of State’s* decision to grant planning permission for a rail freight terminal at Park Street, near St Albans.

The Council’s claim concerns the legality of the Secretary of State’s decision on 14 July 2014 to allow an appeal brought by Helioslough Limited.  Helioslough Limited’s appeal concerned the Council’s refusal of planning permission for a strategic rail freight interchange on the former Radlett aerodrome site.

The Council is challenging the decision on three points of law.  The first is concerned with the legality of the Secretary of State’s approach in taking his decision.

The second relates to the misapplication of wording in the National Planning Policy Framework, a document that sets out planning policy nationally.

The third ground for challenge relates to procedural irregularity and inconsistency on the rail freight interchange decision. This follows the Secretary of State’s recent refusal of planning permission for a waste incinerator plant, also on Green Belt land, at nearby New Barnfield, in Hatfield.

Cllr Julian Daly, the Council’s Leader and Portfolio Holder for Planning and Conservation said:  “The Council considers that the proposed rail freight interchange at this site will be harmful to the District’s Green Belt.  We believe that the Secretary of State’s recent decision to grant planning permission is flawed legally.  We are therefore taking action to challenge the decision in the High Court.”

 

Councillor contact:
Cllr Julian Daly, Leader and Portfolio Holder for Planning and Conservation, St Albans City and District Council, Tel: 01582 715645, 07775 657200; Email: cllr.j.daly@stalbans.gov.uk 

Contact for the press:
Claire Wainwright, Executive and Communications Manager, St Albans City and District Council, Tel: 01727 819572, E-mail: claire.wainwright@stalbans.gov.uk 



Notes

*Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.

A copy of the Council’s claim can be obtained from:


The Administrative Court Office
Royal Courts of Justice
Strand
London WC2A 2LL
Email: administrativecourtoffice.generaloffice@hmcts.x.gsi.gov.uk   
Tel: 020 7947 6655

All correspondence should be addressed to: The Court Manager

Name of Case: St Albans City and District Council v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and Other, Ref CO /3953/2014