Anne Main MP has written to the transport secretary Grant Shapps MP to call for the planning permission for the proposed Strategic Rail Freight Interchange (SRFI) to be rescinded. Mrs Main has strongly opposed the SRFI since it was first given planning permission in 2014.
In her letter, Anne says the SRFI is “almost unanimously opposed” by her constituents as it is a “dreadful use of this land that will cause nothing but pollution and disruption to road and rail travellers”.
She said: “I have pressed Ministers for years about this site and we are still no clearer on how the SRFI could be workable. There is no clarity on tunnel upgrades, pathing for the trains and inevitable impact this will have on commuter journeys on the line.
“Further, the site will have a major impact on our roads. The number of lorries that will be accessing the SRFI will add to the congestions my constituents regularly have to endure.”
Mrs Main was delighted when Hertfordshire County Council offered up the site for housing as part of the draft St Albans Local Plan at the start of this year.
Anne describes this in her letter as a “far more desirable use of this land if it is to be taken out of the Green Belt”.
The St Albans MP finished her letter with a clear and unreserved ask of the new transport secretary.
She said: “I believe that the Government must now act in the interest of the people living around this site by rescinding the SRFI planning application and promoting this site for housing.”
Speaking after sending the letter, Anne said: “This has gone on for far too long now. My constituents strongly oppose this dreadful plan and it is completely obvious that this site should be used for housing instead.
“The SRFI would be incredibly damaging to our environment, road and rail links and is another lost site for desperately needed housing.
“This new government has approached lots of issues with energy, enthusiasm and common sense and has taken action when it is needed.
“I am now calling for them to do exactly that with the SRFI. They should now rescind the planning application and support housing on this site. I will be keeping up the pressure in Westminster to try and make sure this happens.”