HelioSlough has reapplied for planning consent to build a £300m rail freight terminal on 300 acres of land near Radlett, St. Albans.

Having had its previous planning permission rejected by secretary of state, Hazel Blears in early October, it has today submitted a scoping study request to St Albans planning department.

An HelioSlough spokesman said: ‘Having read and reflected on both the Inspector’s Report and the secretary of state’s letter, it is clear from Paragraph 58 of the decision letter that permission would have been granted if we had adopted a different approach to demonstrating that there were no alternative sites for the proposal.'

On this basis we are encouraged sufficiently to proceed to the submission of another planning application’ and said that he expected to submit a second application by ‘early 2009’.

He said that the scoping study would be ‘the first step towards the submission of a new outline planning application’ for the rail freight development.

In reference to the vocal local opposition to the would-be development, he added: ‘We appreciate that this fresh application will not be warmly received by all in the local community.

‘However, we hope that they will draw comfort from the Inspector’s Report and secretary of state’s letter to the extent that their concerns were examined at the Inquiry and that the mitigation and positive benefits put forward by my client, Helioslough, are acceptable to the highest levels of the planning process.

'Our further hope is that, against the backdrop of the Inspector’s Report and secretary of state’s letter, the discussion on the second proposal will focus solely on the issue of an alternative site(s).’