Campaigners say “the world has ended” after plans to build a new freight terminal on a patch of green belt were given the go-ahead.
Earlier today, Eric Pickles rubber stamped controversial plans to build the new terminal despite objections from residents, politicians and councils.
Five big warehouses as well as a railway line will be built near Park Street, St Albans.
Clive Glover, of Woodfield Road, Radlett, branded the proposals “appalling” after the shock announcement.
The father-of-two added: “The world has ended or people living in Park Street – life with the terminal will be hell, it really will. I am disgusted.
“It is a huge development and will completely alter the view for people in the area. It will cause a huge increase in traffic every day with people getting to work there.
“The road from Elstree roundabout to Park Street is chaotic enough as it is in the mornings, this will make that so much worse.
“But what gets me the most is that they usually build these terminals in areas of high unemployment, which we do not have in Radlett."
Mr Glover suggested the terminal could have been built further from London.
He added: “In Luton, however, there is high unemployment – and they actually wanted a freight terminal there.
“I especially cannot believe this has been accepted, given the fact that it is on the green belt site.”
Earlier this week, Mr Pickles announced there was “no need” to carry out a public inquiry into the proposals, described as the “biggest planning application Hertfordshire has ever seen”.
Hertsmere MP James Clappison said it was a “massive blow” to the community after five years of campaigning against the proposals.
He added: “We have been campaigning for this for five years, and I still maintain that building on the green belt is totally wrong.
“I think it is a deeply flawed decision which will, unfortunately, cause significant damage to the land and those who opposite it have my full support.
“I am surprised and disappointed about this – it appears perverse to launch a consultation on a proposed course of action and to take a completely different course irrespective of its outcome.”
He added he has written to planning minister Nick Boles to register his disappointment and to seek a fuller explanation of the circumstances.
Hertsmere Borough Council contributed £30,000 to the cost of St Albans District Council's fight against the plans.
Hertsmere leader, Councillor Morris Bright, said: “It is beginning to feel as if the Government has slammed the door firmly shut now by taking this decision, but we will continue to offer our support to St Albans as they consider their next options.
“I am naturally disappointed by the announcement. We have had more than 150 objections to the scheme."