What now for the Pavilion?

Aldenham Parish Council is consulting residents on the future of the Pavilion at Phillimore Recreation Grounds. Now that the new buildings for the grounds staff are up and running there is an opportunity to redevelop the old pavilion which is probably too small for most purposes.

If you would like to have your say, go to the Parish Council’s website and complete the survey.



School buses “consultation”

Hertfordshire County Council is “consulting” on proposals to commercialise or axe some school buses from next year (September 2012). This proposal has been widely trailed since last year when the Council decided to cut the numbers of people qualified for free transport to schools.

This directly affects students who live in Radlett as well as Shenley, Borehamwood and Elstree who attend secondary schools in Bushey, Watford and St Albans. All students in Radlett and Shenley have to travel some way to get to a secondary school as we do not have one locally (but see the Radlett Free School website http://radlettfreeschoolproject.wordpress.com/ which may lead to one being built!).

The most commonly expressed view is that parents recognise that they will have to pay more for school transport but they are horrified at the idea of the services being cut completely which will inevitably make the “school run” even worse as more people will have to resort to cars to get their children to and from school.

The “consultation” runs to 15 August and can be found here but you can be pretty sure the Council has already made their mind up on this and the buses will be cut next September…

Freight Terminal – no appeal against Judge’s decision

Secretary of State Eric Pickles has decided not to appeal against the High Court’s judgement that he should reconsider his refusal of planning permission for the Rail Freight Terminal on the old Radlett Air Field in Park Street. As a result, St Albans City & District Council have also decided against appealing.

This does NOT mean HelioSlough can now go ahead. But it does mean that Eric Pickles will need to reconsider the whole matter and issue a new decision on whether it should be granted planning permission or not. There is no indication how long this might take but probably a matter of weeks.

More details in St Albans Press Notice here

Radlett Station platform extensions

I am delighted to see that the work has begun on extending Platforms 1 and 2 at Radlett Station. This is part of the Thameslink programme (total cost £6 billion!) and will enable the new 12 car trains being built by Siemens to stop at Radlett.

My delight is particularly because I personally spent some 15 years making sure this would happen. The original Thameslink 2000 project, started in the early 1980s and due for completion by the year 2000, left Radlett out. Having noticed this I pursued the powers that be for literally years to find out why (there was no reason – I am still convinced it was an error which they simply refused to admit) and to put us into the programme. Finally the day came when I was summoned to meet the junior railway Minister and explained it to him and he winked and said he would “see what he would do”. Then, some months later Radlett suddenly appeared in the project plans…

Because trains will now be able to stop at Radlett this means that we will in future (from 2014/15) have a number of new destinations from here, including South Coast towns like Eastbourne. The original plans would have meant such services leaving St Albans and passing through Radlett without stopping until they reached Elstree!

Rail Freight Terminal decision shock

A judge has ruled in favour of HelioSlough’s application to overturn the Secretary of State’s rejection of the planning application to build a so-called “rail” freight terminal on the Radlett Airfield in Park Street. The Government has said they will appeal against this ruling but if this appeal is unsuccessful then HelioSlough will be able to purchase the land from Hertfordshire County Council and go ahead building five massive sheds on the site.

This would be a disaster for everyone living anywhere near the site, including residents of Radlett, Shenley and St Albans as well as the immediate neighbours in Park Street.

More details from the Herts Advertiser here

Radlett Post Office to close next year

It has apparently been “decided” (by whom exactly I am not clear) that Radlett’s Post Office sorting office will close sometime next year. This means that the Post Office counter and shop will also close as they cannot support the costs of the whole¬† building.

The implications of all this are considerable and I wonder if anyone has really thought them through in a coherent manner?

Firstly it means that all letters and parcels for residents of Radlett and the villages will be sorted in Borehamwood’s sorting office. They don’t have the room to do this (the Radlett sorting office has pigeon holes for each house) so they will only be partially sorted by rounds. Then our postmen and post women will have to drive or be driven to Borehamwood to collect their post and sort it themselves in the street perhaps?

Any parcels which cannot be delivered will be returned to Borehamwood for collection (although you will have to wait 48 hours before you can collect them). There is no parking outside or even near the Borehamwood sorting office – the nearest is in the Shopping Boulevard – so it will take a five mile round trip and a five to ten minute walk to get your parcels in future.

Has anyone calculated the extra environmental costs of this crazy decision – I suspect not.

And what of the general Post Office services themselves? The most likely result is that the Post Office Counter – and maybe the shop – will move to a shop unit somewhere in Watling Street. I would hope this would not under any circumstances be in either Budgens or Tescos as they do not have the room. But this relies on their being a suitable vacant shop unit available sometime next year at an affordable rent, which cannot be guaranteed at all.

The Post Office site is likely to be bought by the Red House to build the new and larger Surgery they have wanted to build for several years. While this will be welcomed by most people, the loss of the Post Office obviously will not. I wonder whether the Red House could incorporate a Post Office in their new building?

And finally, what about the existing Red House building? Is that likely to be retained as part of a new surgery complex or sold off to help fund the new one? I don’t know myself but no doubt details will emerge eventually!