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.
You may also want to watch:
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 More things which have gone but are not forgotten in St Albans
- 2 Your school heroes - praise for teachers and support staff during third lockdown
- 3 Property Spotlight: A stunning conversion in the heart of Harpenden
- 4 'Kick-ass' St Albans business campaigns for period pants tax removal
- 5 COVID-19 accounted for over 15 per cent of St Albans' deaths, says ONS data
- 6 14 St Albans things that are gone but not forgotten
- 7 'We are determined to get on top of this, and we will': Inside St Albans' COVID vaccination centre
- 8 Woman loses more than £1000 in St Albans cashpoint distraction scam
- 9 Is lockdown working in Herts? Here's what the latest data tells us
- 10 St Albans district has Herts' lowest COVID-19 infection rate
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.