How to Stop the St Albans Railfreight Facility

I don’t necessarily think the course of action below is a good thing, but if you want to stop this proposal here’s how.

Designate part of the site for housing.

Its a previously developed site and the new NPPF rules apply, providing the proposal does not have materially worse impact on the openness of the site it would not necessarily be inappropriate development.

If the value of the housing was greater than that in railfreight use then Herts CC as owners of the site would have a fiduciary duty to not sell to the Strategic Rail-freight developers.

As a by product it would also solve St Albans critical 5 year supply issue and provide breathing space to complete their local plan.

The only tactical weakness of then plan, the developers could ask for a holding direction to be placed on alternative schemes as it would block a ‘national’ infrastructure project.

Of course if the site were sold to a national housebuiilder with an uplift clause this would delay any railfreight scheme by many years as it would have to prised from their clammy hands by a CPO and who would do this with RDAs now abolished?

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