Council blunder over proposed hotel next to St Albans museum

PUBLISHED: 19:39 04 October 2009 | UPDATED: 14:30 06 May 2010

MP Anne Main discovered the error

MP Anne Main discovered the error

PROPOSALS for a hotel to be situated next to a busy museum have been inadvertently incorporated into the new St Albans City Vision project. MP Anne Main discovered the error in the City Vision scheme for St Albans which sited a hotel next door to Verulami

PROPOSALS for a hotel to be situated next to a busy museum have been inadvertently incorporated into the new St Albans City Vision project.

MP Anne Main discovered the error in the City Vision scheme for St Albans which sited a hotel next door to Verulamium Museum in St Michael's village.

She made the discovery during a visit to the City Vision exhibition held at The Maltings shopping centre and said it called into question the credibility of the costly scheme.

When she asked questions she was told that she was only the second person to have noticed it and that, "it had been slipped in".

Mrs Main said: "I was shocked because I have studied the core development strategy in depth and know that there are four preferred sites for hotels in the district but this certainly wasn't one of them. "

When she questioned Melvyn Teare, portfolio holder for economic development who was present, she was told she should make her views known because the City Vision was a consultative exercise.

She said: "I wrote that this was an appalling idea and completely the wrong location for a hotel."

But this week Cllr Teare conceded that its inclusion had been a mistake. He explained: "It was discussed early on in a workshop and was one of the many creative ideas dreamt up by the team but it was not meant to be included in the final draft.

"Ironically, if it had been accurate, it would have been sited in someone's back garden."

Clive Miller, the project manager responsible for running the £150,000 City Vision scheme on behalf of St Albans District Council, has now apologised for the error.

"I don't know how this happened but I will be conducting a thorough investigation to discover what went wrong," he said.

A spokesperson for the district council added: "A small reference was made to a new hotel close to Verulamium Museum which was an error. This idea was ruled out of the scope of the vision at an earlier consultation phase.

"It was a suggestion that was discussed at a stakeholder workshop but it was decided this was not an ideal location for a new hotel.

"The potential location for a new hotel now features in two areas of the city centre, St Peter's Street and Victoria Street."

She added that around 2,000 people had visited the exhibition during the two-week consultation period this month, giving their views on the content which will be taken into account in the final vision document.

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