Outraged residents who have been campaigning against a rail freight terminal have set up a petition in their latest bid to bring a halt to the controversial plans.

Thousands of people have signed the petition, which is asking Hertfordshire County Council not to sell the former Radlett Aerodrome located between Park Street and London Colney, to the developer HelioSlough.

Since it was set up on Thursday, 2352 people have added their name to the online list to voice their opposition and the number is growing fast.

Cathy Bolshaw, co-ordinator for STRIFE, the organisation that set up the petition on Thursday, said the group hope to collect at least 10,000 signatures.

She said: “We are just trying every angle of attack to stop this.

“The initial reaction has been quite amazing.

“It just shows the level of incense at the decision. People are angry and frustrated.”

Secretary of State Eric Pickles announced that the development will go ahead at the end of last year, despite objections from residents, politicians and councils.

Dennis Cowen, chairman of the committee of Park Street’s Residents’ Association, said: “I think it is important that everybody realises how much this rail terminal is going to affect us.

“I think that most people in Park Street had it dwelling on their minds over the Christmas break.

“Although it is Park Street residents primarily who are going to suffer, people in St Albans and Radlett are going to suffer alongside us.

“When this petition was started we didn’t realise how quickly people would jump on it. It’s great.

“The fact that people have jumped to sign means they are anxious that things don’t go ahead.”

STRIFE is currently working with lawyers to pick through fine points of the letter to work out the best step to take text.

Robert Gordon, Leader of Hertfordshire County Council, said: “The county council owns part of the site to which the application relates.

“The secretary of tate has only indicated a "minded" decision which means that planning permission for the scheme has not yet been granted.

“The Department for Communities and Local Government has requested that a planning obligation be made which would bind all of those with an interest in the land.

“Cabinet will give careful consideration to this request at its meeting in February and cannot make any decision on the future of its land ownership at this very early stage.

“Should any of the landowners refuse to sell the land, the government can permit compulsory purchase action to be taken against landowners to ensure that national or regional transport policies can be implemented.”

To sign the petition visit https://consult.hertsdirect.org/petitions/petition?petition_id=74614&all=1