A planning application for three marquees and a pagoda to be erected outside St Albans Cathedral for graduation ceremonies has been called-in by a councillor with a raft of concerns.

The application was submitted to St Albans City and District Council for temporary structures to be put up twice a year at the front and to the south-west of the abbey.

The University of Hertfordshire has used St Albans Cathedral to host graduation ceremonies for many years, historically taking place over a few weeks in September - but now there are proposals to hold additional ceremonies in February each year.

To support this expansion, there are plans for the temporary erection of three marquees, a pagoda and toilet units.

The marquees would be used for photography, tickets and robes, and post ceremony, while the pagoda would be an information point.

With up to three ceremonies per day for one week in February, there would be an estimated 18,000 visitors, and up to 32,400 visitors during two weeks of ceremonies in September.

The applicant says a variety of articulated lorries, contractor vans and vehicles would come to site during the build phase.

Councillor Edgar Hills has called-in the planning application, meaning that the council will refer it to the Secretary of State for a decision.

He said: "Erection of temporary structures in association with graduation ceremonies have proven to be extremely problematical in terms of location, access, and damage to green spaces and a Grade 1 listed building.

"These events have had a significant impact on unregulated parking, damage to the highway and its infrastructure.

"Additionally, safety concerns, noise, and disruption to pupil studies at the neighbouring St Albans School and residents has been the subject of numerous complaints."

Historic England has also raised concerns on heritage grounds.

It said: "We are aware of a recent damage case at the nearby St Albans Abbey Gatehouse Scheduled Monument and Grade 1 listed building, where we understand that a graduation ceremony contractor's vehicle scraped the interior stonework of the monument earlier this year.

"The university has promptly resourced appropriate repairs, but I note that the current application continues to propose use of the Abbey Gatehouse for vehicular access."

The proposed development includes a restoration plan which would help to protect the grass following each session of ceremonies.

A planning statement accompanying the application says: "The proposed structures would be temporary and, while there may be some minor visual impediment and disturbance to tranquillity, the heritage significance of all the heritage assets would be preserved for the long term.

"The proposals have the potential to provide benefits to the heritage assets, particularly the abbey church, which will receive a wider range, and greater number of visitors than usual, during the graduations.

"The proposals, which are temporary in duration and impact, are sympathetic to the traditional use of the cathedral precinct.

"They are an important way of encouraging new users and vitality to this historic part of St Albans.

"There would be no unacceptable impacts as a result of the development.

"With careful management, the structures can be accommodated on the site and packed away with minimal disruption, whilst bringing significant overall benefits."

If planning permission is granted, the applicant will also need to get Scheduled Monument Consent.