Additional seats for Rail Freight Planning inquiry

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News release: 22 October 2007

The Planning Inquiry which is due to start at 10am on Tuesday 6th November,
will consider the appeal by Helio Slough, against the refusal by the District Council’s Planning Referrals Committee of their planning application for a Rail Freight Terminal in February 2007.

Due to the high level of interest in this appeal, everything is being done to accommodate as many people as possible. New arrangements have just been made to provide additional space for members of the public to view a live webcast of the proceedings during the first two days of the Rail Freight planning inquiry.

The meeting is open to the public and will be held in the council chamber, which can seat approximately 100 people, although some of these seats will be taken by the Planning Inspector, the legal teams for the parties, their witnesses and speakers.

For the first two days of the Inquiry, an extra 100 seats will be made available in the committee rooms on the lower ground floor of the council offices, for members of the public to view a live webcast of the proceedings. Should the chamber and the committee rooms be full, stewards will direct people to the Dagnall Street Baptist Church, which can hold a maximum of 220 people and where they will be able to view the live webcast.

The inquiry will sit from 10am Tuesday to Friday each week, for approximately 8 weeks, although this is at the Inspector’s discretion and is subject to change. Everything will be done to minimise the disruption to customers coming into the customer service centre to access the council’s services.

You can also view a webcast of the first two days from the comfort of your own home, by going to There is an online help and FAQ page if you experience problems with the webcast: There will also be a Rail Freight link from the home page of the council’s website, which will have updates as to the progress and the programme of events.

All seats for members of the public will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Should you have any disability requirements and wish to reserve a seat in advance, please contact the Programme Officer, Lesley Young by telephoning 01727 819304, or send texts, emails, voicemail on the mobile number 07920 823637 or by writing to her at the:-

District Council Offices
St Peter’s Street
St Albans
Herts AL1 3JE

Any member of the public will have the opportunity to speak at the Inspector’s discretion. Anyone wishing to speak must register their interest in advance by contacting Lesley Young. The timing for this will only be announced after the start of the Inquiry.

A set of proofs of evidence (excluding Highways evidence), summaries of proofs and statements of common ground, will be available for inspection at the District Council Offices from Wednesday 17 October. Highways evidence will be available for inspection at the District Council Offices from Tuesday 30 October. Anyone wishing to view these documents during office hours should make arrangements with Lesley Young, to do so. They cannot be removed from the premises.

The car park in Bricket Road is closed to the public on week days but parking is available in Russell Avenue and Drover’s Way car parks (behind Bhs), and in the London Road.

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

After completion of the Inquiry the Planning Inspector will send a report to the Secretary of State who will make the final decision. Anyone wanting a copy of the decision on the appeal should request this by writing to the Planning Inspector at the:-

Planning Inspectorate
Room 4/04 Kite,
Temple Quay House,
2 The Square,
Temple Quay.
Bristol BS1 6PN
Quote reference: APP/B1930//07/2045747/NWF
Or via email to

Davina Mansell, Press Officer