HelioSlough’s appeal for a rail freight terminal at the former Radlett Aerodrome has been refused by the government.
The developer lodged the appeal against St Albans City and District Councils last November after it was refused planning permission in July 2009.
Rail on Freight said it was disappointed by the government’s decision, which it says chooses “localism over regenerating the low carbon economy”, adding that it will be impossible to get freight shifted from road to rail without getting terminals and interchanges located in the right positions.
The organization added that Radlett conforms to government policy which states that a network of strategic rail freight interchanges with good rail and road access is needed for the Greater London area.
Philippa Edmunds, Freight on Rail manager, said: “This judgement, by the secretary of state for communities and local government, is the first test of the economy versus localism. If this case sets a precedent, it will be almost impossible to get planning permission which is given locally for all but the major national schemes.
“This could mean that medium sized and small rail freight terminals, wind farms, waste to energy plants and even housing, which benefit the wider community but have local disadvantages and are consequently opposed locally, do not get the green light with the resulting impact on economic recovery.”
She added that “While we support the Secretary of State’s instruction ‘to local authorities to work with each other and with businesses and communities, to consider strategic transport priorities and cross boundary issues’, we believe that some form of strategic planning will need to be introduced if sustainable economic development is to take place.”