Comment: Why a St Albans/Stevenage hybrid might just be the perfect place
- Credit: Archant
Last week’s column about St Albans and Stevenage, as seen through the eyes of the Evening Standard, evoked quite a reaction.
Both places had been hand-picked by the Homes & Property section as examples of areas London-based first-time buyers might want to take a look at, on account of their good schools and short commutes.
But their verdicts weren’t entirely flattering, with a few criticisms being made of Stevenage’s “concrete jungle” estates and St Albans’ “lacklustre” suburbs.
Fair enough, I thought – neither place is perfect. And it makes a change for an article about St Albans especially to be a little less than gushing for once. It’s not all cathedral views and lovely walks by the (sometimes stinky) lake, as any local will testify.
Some readers took the criticisms to heart, however, speaking passionately in defence of their home town.
One felt strongly that Stevenage had been unfairly represented by the paper (and me! – though the views weren’t mine on this occasion).
As someone who writes about property on a daily basis, I feel we must cut the ES some slack. It’s impossible to know every place inside out, and when you’ve only got a couple of hundred words to play with, it isn’t possible to provide an in-depth analysis.
- 1 Suspected loan sharks arrested in Hemel Hempstead
- 2 Meet the artist behind The Queen's Platinum Jubilee mural in St Albans
- 3 Building company resurfaces bridleway to provide safe route for riders and walkers
- 4 St Albans shop showcasing small independents by renting out shelves
- 5 See inside this loft style apartment in a former hat factory
- 6 Foodies queue to try street food sourced, cooked and served in Herts
- 7 Train timetable shakeup due in St Albans and Watford from May 15
- 8 MoonWalk success for the St Albans cancer survivor and her Belgian Buns
- 9 Company of Ten's A Bunch of Amateurs production 'milks the comedy for all its worth' at the Abbey Theatre
- 10 Harpenden neighbours condemn plans for builders merchant next to residential properties
And, personally, I can see the good in both of these Hertfordshire heavyweights. If the ES had had another hundred words, they could have mentioned many more of St Albans’ ‘outstanding’ schools, the amazing range of pubs, restaurants and – but of course – cafes, and the Museum + Gallery – as divisive as that may be.
In contrast, Stevenage offers its famous cycling routes, vastly more affordable housing and great shops - the people of St Albans can but dream of having a Primark, an Aldi and a giant Asda.
The best of both of them might just make my perfect place.