Strategic Rail Freight Interchange, Radlett, Helioslough

Planning Permission was issued by the Secretary of State in July 2014 for a Strategic Rail Freight Interchange including 3.5m ft2 of warehousing, new rail connection, rail freight interchange and Country Park. The site is in the Green Belt to the south of St Albans and adjoining the M25 / Midland mainline. RPS CgMs project managed the preparation and submission of the outline application with a full Environmental Assessment and an Alternative Sites Need Case. We have made representations to various plans. We first applied for planning permission for a SRFI at the former Radlett Aerodrome site in 2006. After the application was refused by the local authority, Helioslough appealed the decision and an inquiry took place in 2007. The outcome of this inquiry was a rejection of the application, solely on one ground. A revised application was submitted in 2009, again rejected by the local authority and again appealed. The inquiry into this appeal took place late in 2009.

The Inspector recommended the application be approved. However, in July 2010, the Secretary of State over-ruled the Inspector and dismissed the appeal. Helioslough then issued a legal challenge in the High Court. The judge ruled that the Secretary of State’s decision was wrong, and the decision was quashed. Today’s decision is as a result of the Secretary of State reconsidering the position he took in July 2010. We will now be progressing our planning permission to the next stages with St Albans District Council.

The Strategic Rail Freight Interchange is important for sustainable economic growth - some £250 million will be invested by the private sector in this development, with some 3,760 jobs being generated over the long term as well as creating £101 million in annual economic benefits. Having the ability to move more freight via a well-connected rail network, will help to free up capacity on our already overcrowded roads as well as generate significant carbon savings.