Today’s sneak announcement from Eric Pickles that after all he is minded to approve the Helioslough freight terminal is truly terrible news. Nothing has changed in terms of the inappropriateness of this site. It’s going to mean misery for residents in Park Street, Colney Heath and the south of St Albans district. Commuters will suffer as their journeys are disrupted by the necessary rail works. And the whole St Albans economy could suffer if increased gridlock on the main approach roads to the city drives businesses away.
The timing stinks, just before Christmas. I think they call it a good day to bury bad news.
It was Mr Pickles himself who suggested that Park Street should be compared with Colnbrook. That now cannot happen. He has taken it upon himself to pre-judge the matter.
St Albans Abbey and Roman Verulamium bulk large in our island’s history. Now they are to be contextualised by gargantuan warehouses. Quite simply it is a tragedy.