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Secretary of State Eric Pickles responds to questions over rail freight terminal near Radlett
The Secretary of State has begun to respond to and answer questions over proposals for a rail freight terminal near Radlett put in for a third inquiry.
Controversial proposals by Helioslough for a Strategic Rail Freight Interchange (SRFI) on the former Radlett Airfield were put in for a surprise third inquiry to be conjoined with plans for a rail freight depot in Colnbrook, Slough.
The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles, has now begun to answer questions in response to concerned parties, who have made representations following these proposals.
MP Anne Main, MP for Hertsmere, James Clappison and Colney Heath Parish Council are among the representatives who wrote to the Secretary of State with their views and thoughts.
St Albans District Council also responded by letter in October 2. In the letter from Mike Lovelady, head of legal democratic and regulatory services at the council, it read: "The council is of the view that a conjoined inquiry is both appropriate and necessary in this case.
"The council’s case at the Radlett inquiry, as you are aware, was that the Colnbrook proposal was a better scheme than the Radlett development and would cause less harm to the Green Belt. "It maintains that stance.
"The conjoined inquiry will enable a detailed and full assessment of the various representations which have been made through the re-determination process in the Radlett appeal."
A number of representatives questioned the purpose of the conjoined inquiries and the relationship between the two appeals and in response the Secretary of State wrote to interested parties in a letter dated 12 October. In the letter from Christine Symes, planning case worker for the Department for Communities and Local Government, it read: "He is inviting representations on his view that considering the two schemes at conjoined inquiries would lead to be a more coherent and consistent decision making process.
"It should be stressed that the Secretary of State has not reached a view on either of the appeal schemes, or what his eventual decision on either of them will be."
Comments concerning resource implications when re-opening the inquiry into Radlett and conjoining it with Colnbrook were also made by representatives.
In response, the letter on behalf of the Secretary of State went on to recommend: "In the event that the Secretary of State decides to conjoin the inquiries, he will pass the Planning Inspectorate the comments from parties in respect of the timing and location of the event.
The council and concerned parties now have until Monday, October, 29 to respond to comments and add further representations before a final decision is made.