St Albans City and District Council has been told that a decision on Helioslough’s planning appeal for a rail freight interchange at Park Street is to be delayed.
The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government was due to issue his decision on or before 13 June, but the Council has been told that this is no longer to be the case.
No new decision date has been set.
Helioslough Ltd appealed against St Albans City & District Council’s decision to refuse planning permission for a rail freight interchange on land at the former Radlett aerodrome. A Public Inquiry was held in November and December 2009. This culminated in a decision by the Secretary of State, dated 7 July 2010, to dismiss the appeal.
The Council, in its original planning decision, considered that the rail freight proposal would cause harm to the Green Belt. It also considered that it would be contrary to the Development Plan.
Helioslough challenged the Secretary of State’s July 2010 decision in the High Court. On 1 July 2011, a High Court Judge quashed the decision on the basis of one of four grounds of challenge put forward by Helioslough. St Albans City & District Council was a second defendant in the case. The Judge found that the Secretary of State did not properly explain his reasons for disagreeing with the Planning Inspector’s recommendation that the proposed development be allowed.
The High Court referred the matter back to the Secretary of State to re-determine.
The Secretary of State invited all parties to the planning appeal, including the Council, to make further written representations. The Council made its further representations on 14 October 2011.
In a letter dated 29 March 2012, the Secretary of State informed all parties to the appeal that he had decided to delay his decision and invited further written representations on the relevance of the recently published National Planning Policy Framework. The Council provided its representations on 16 April 2012.
A decision was expected on or before 13 June 2012. However the Council has now been informed that the decision will not be made within this time frame. No new decision date has been set.
Cllr Teresa Heritage, Portfolio Holder for Planning and Conservation, St Albans City and District Council, Tel: 01582 761014; Mobile: 07866 458977
Contact for the press:
Claire Wainwright, Principal Communications and Marketing Officer, St Albans City and District Council, Tel: 01727 819572, E-mail: email@example.com