Appeal launched for extension of St Albans shopping precinct

The entrance to Christopher Place at the end of French Row

The entrance to Christopher Place at the end of French Row - Credit: Archant

The proposed extension of a shopping precinct in St Albans’ conservation area will now be determined by a planning inspector as the council has taken too long to make a decision.

Hermes Property has launched an appeal on behalf of Britel Fund Trustees for approval to make changes to the French Row entrance to Christopher Place.

St Albans district council was asked to consider a scheme for a single storey side extension and the extension of the former Millets store into the adjacent flower kiosk to create additional floor space.

Hermes Property has lodged an appeal with the planning inspectorate against the council’s non-determination within the statutory timeframe.

However, according to appeal documents the council would have refused the scheme.

The local authority said such an extension would “bring forward the building line into Christopher Place”.

It added: “The proposed addition would result in an unsympathetic and visually incongruous and obtrusive form of development.”

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The council felt that would unbalance the existing retail building line, “to the detriment of the character and appearance of the building, the street scene, the locality and this part of the St Albans conservation area”.

Hermes Property has appealed against the non-determination on several grounds including that the scheme would enable the creation of a new entrance into Christopher Place, that would result in a “better link” between the precinct and French Row.