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Site proposed for Rail Freight Interchange gains new interest from football club

 Published on: 15th December 2013   |   By: The Newsdesk   |   Category:

A village businessman is attempting to put the brakes on the building of a rail freight interchange- with an alternative plan to construct a football stadium and up to 6,000 homes. Radlett-based John McGowan, 47, joint owner of St Albans City FC, has put together a consortium interested in purchasing Radlett Airfield- a site which Hertfordshire County Council (HCC) this month deferred on selling to Helioslough Ltd for the construction of a rail freight interchange. With backing from an unnamed “major” developer the consortium has up to £17m for the site, on which it plans to build a new 5,000 seat stadium with function rooms and training facilities for St Albans City FC and up to 6,000 homes- depending on planning permissions. HCC officers have said that the 199 hectare site is currently valued at £1.785m, though it would be worth “at least ten times more” with planning permission granted. Mr McGowan told My Radlett & Shenley News that the stadium and homes plan is “the better of the two choices”. He said: “The rail freight will go ahead as things are and we see this as a good alternative. We want this to be the people’s choice and if it has support we will put our money where our mouth is. As a football club we’ve been looking for an alternative site and were about to make an application on one in London Colney but over the last four weeks this one has gained a lot of momentum.” He added: “We’ve been in dialogue with Ann Main (St Albans MP) but there is no point in doing this unless we have backing. There would be a lot of benefits to this for both Radlett and St Albans. For us it would be win-win. Time is against us though, Helioslough could attempt to go down the legal route to purchase the site.” Mr McGowan confirmed that if there was support for the plan his consortium would submit outline planning permission for the site “as soon as possible”. What do you make of the plans? Email    

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