Friday, June 21, 2013

Rail Freight Interchange Dispute Goes On (and On, and On………)

Permission for Yet Another Judicial Review Sought by Local Authority
Shipping News Feature

UK – After a High Court judge last week refused St Albans City and District Council permission to apply for Judicial Review in the matter of the proposed Strategic Rail Freight Interchange (SRFI) at the site of the former Radlett Aerodrome on Park Street, the Council has now lodged a request with the High Court to have its initial application reconsidered. The Judicial Review application sought to quash the decision by Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Eric Pickles to not re-open the Park Street Inquiry and conjoin it with the Colnbrook (Slough) Strategic Rail Freight application appeal.

Frances Patterson QC, sitting as Deputy High Court Judge, refused the application regarding the claim as ‘misconceived’ with no evidence that Pickle’s decision in December 2012 was ‘in any way flawed’, after Pickles said that he was ‘minded to approve’ the planning permission (after previously dismissing the scheme in 2010 as impractical as it impinged on Green Belt) Miss Patterson then went on to add that the claim was ‘premature given that there is no final decision on the Radlett application’.

Developers Helioslough, a public front for the Segro industrial property group, is currently applying for Judicial Review against the Secretary of State seeking an immediate answer as to the final decision over the disputed site. Responding to Helioslough’s Judicial Review application, St Albans MP Anne Main, earlier this year, said:

“It is outrageous that Helioslough expect everyone to dance to their tune. This misguided proposal has been blighting the lives of my constituents for nearly a decade, why the sudden rush? I believe the Council are fully justified in seeking a judicial review and the developer is trying to bully their way to concreting the green belt. We are trying to fight this monstrosity in every way possible and we will not be intimidated by a developer.”

The renewal application seeks an oral hearing before a High Court judge to have the Judicial Review application reconsidered. St Albans council has been ordered to pay costs of £2,000 to the Secretary of State for the costs of preparing the ‘Acknowledgment of Service’.

For a potted history of this scheme, or to discover more about some of the key players such as Helioslough, simply type a key word such as Radlett or St Albans into the News Search Box at the head of this page.

Photo: Just how long can a rail freight dispute last?