Pink Pages     MyLocalHero 2022     Advertise with us     


FIGHT THE FREIGHT: Sale of former Radlett airfield to be judged in court

 Published on: 19th February 2024   |   By: Darius Morgan   |   Category: Uncategorized

A campaign to stop a freight terminal being built on green belt land on the former Radlett airfield received a boost this week after a judge ruled that a legal challenge against the sale of the land will be decided in court later this year.

The campaign group Save St Albans: Fight the Freight argue that there were flaws in the way Hertfordshire County Council (HCC) sold the 300 acres of land to developers Segro in June 2023. The group claim the sale was flawed because a series of covenants show the land, bought by HCC in the mid-1980s for £1, should be permanent open space.

After considering written evidence from Fight the Freight, HCC and Segro, Mrs Justice Thornton has ruled that there is a case to answer. A judge will now hear verbal evidence at a date sometime in the summer.

Segro have allegedly already started work on the site, however, if the court rules in favour of the campaigners, the sale of the land will be overturned.

Councillor Nuala Webb, one of the Fight the Freight campaign leaders, said. “This is a really important decision. We have long argued that this area of green belt has been designated as permanent open space and that HCC had no right to sell it for development.

“Both HCC and Segro have treated local people with total contempt. Herts ignored all the evidence we gave them about why this sale was flawed. Segro have started work, even though the development could be blocked but won’t talk to the people who live nearby as they had promised to do.

“A lot of people locally and at County Hall thought the fight was over and the freight terminal was unstoppable.  But this ruling shows very clearly that it is not the case, and that this unwanted and unnecessary development can be blocked once and for all.”

A spokesperson for SEGRO said: “The law in the UK has provisions for a judge to review the way public bodies make decisions and we are fully aware of the judicial review application challenging Hertfordshire County Council’s sale of land in Radlett to SEGRO. As an interested party, we have already provided initial representations to the judge, and now we have more clarity on the next steps we will be pleased to contribute further evidence to the hearing once scheduled. This does not change our current position and we will not be commenting comment further while the process is ongoing.”

A spokesman for HCC said: “We continue to be confident that the sale of the land in Radlett to SEGRO for use as a strategic fright rail interchange was undertaken in accordance with all due processes.”

Photo credit: Len Kerswell

Sign up to get weekly local news updates & offers:

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.


Leave a comment



This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.