Stop this planning madness now

PUBLISHED: 11:04 08 April 2010 | UPDATED: 15:02 06 May 2010

SIR – I am 39-years-old and have been born, bred and am also a homeowner and tax payer in St Albans. I am a also a business owner in St Albans. I felt compelled to wring this letter when I read about a budget hotel plan for the centre of St Albans. How ri

SIR - I am 39-years-old and have been born, bred and am also a homeowner and tax payer in St Albans. I am a also a business owner in St Albans.

I felt compelled to wring this letter when I read about a budget hotel plan for the centre of St Albans. How ridiculous is what I say!

St Albans town centre has its shopping, commerce and visitor problems mainly due to parking and slow traffic movement.

I have seen the St Albans council make stupid decisions in the town centre area such as to put in one way systems, parking controls, dangerous cycle paths and redevelopment of pavings and layouts that don't really improve anything.

It would appear on the face of things that the people with decision making power, either make stupid decisions, or accept stupid proposals from expensive consultants that try and fail.

I thought that the Pegasus 51 hotel plan on the outskirts of St Albans was a great plan.

It was planned for a noisy section of useless for anything else land which is near a petrol Station, and close to the M25, M1 and A414. It is also close to an existing hotel.

I think that this will enhance tourism to St Albans, bring more jobs to the area and raise the profile of St Albans to London and the rest of the country.

A hotel in this area of the planned size could also help to promote Butterfly World. Most people that will require the use of a hotel will require parking!

The St Albans town centre is pretty useless for parking. Please let me explain what I mean.

I would say that many, many St Albans shop users require short term, i.e. up to 15 minutes, parking to pop into a shop and get something, they don't need or want long-term parking that involves "planning your parking".

Have you seen how many people need this facility and do this illegally every day? i.e. cash points, pizza collections?

This is why the St Albans town centre McDonald's failed.

Many people prefer the convenience of the drive-thru at the bottom of Holywell Hill, or the easily available retail complex parking.

Why can't the St Albans planners see this?

Is it because they don't actually live in St Albans?

A budget hotel in the town centre will NOT be any cheaper than the planned Chiswell Green Hotel complex, therefore the word budget is pretty misleading to start with.

I therefore propose that in order to boost all of the town centre shops, fast food places, accessory shops and everything else that the council consider putting in many 15 minutes free parking bays in the town centre which could be ticket-controlled to combat abuse.

Grab a free 15 minutes pay and display ticket and put it in your car window, do your business and boost the town centre economy.

All longer term shoppers can continue to use the multi-storey and London Road car parks (if you can find a space that's not in use by employee parking!)

The St Albans council needs some younger, normal, and street real people on board.

I do appreciate that in life that there are more "sayers" than "doers", and the "doers" tend to get into council positions, but something has to change up there.

PHILIP GREGORY

Westfields, St Albans

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