Application for Berlin Wall barbecue feature at St Albans nightclub refused

PUBLISHED: 06:00 23 December 2016

Batchwood Hall in St Albans wants to use four sections of the original Berlin Wall in its BBQ area

Batchwood Hall in St Albans wants to use four sections of the original Berlin Wall in its BBQ area

photo supplied

Attempts to turn sections of the Berlin Wall into a barbecue feature at a St Albans nightclub have been knocked down.

St Albans district council’s quashing of Batchwood Hall’s application to install four sections of the original Berlin Wall at the hilltop venue will be welcomed by opponents who dubbed the bid as ‘totally inappropriate’ and an ‘eyesore’.

Among those objecting to the scheme was St Albans Civic Society, which said “these concrete blocks have no local historic context”.

Some residents near the venue, apart from citing health and safety concerns, also opposed it on the basis that it would detract from the Victorian manor house’s appearance, and had no relevance to its history.

And that view was shared by the council which, in its recent refusal, said the proposal was an “inappropriate development in the metropolitan Green Belt” and that the concrete blocks would “detract from both the character and appearance of Batchwood Hall”.

In a report to the authority, planning officers said the Berlin Wall sections were of ‘notable size’, standing nearly four metres high.

The officers added: “Given their height the sections will significantly exceed that of the existing boundary treatment and therefore be readily visible from outside the confines of the barbecue area and from distances.

“The proposed sections of the wall would be very visually obtrusive features. Furthermore, their prominence would only be exacerbated by their dull concrete appearance, which would contrast greatly with the open landscape surroundings.”

Confusion remains, too, as to why Batchwood wanted to turn the wall remnants into a ‘feature’, as no explanation has been forthcoming to either the council or this paper.

Council officers noted: “While the sections are interesting features, they are not essential and no robust justification has been provided for their purpose.

“It is noted that the sections of the wall are within the confines of the barbecue area which will only be open during the Batchwood nightclub opening hours. In this respect, the sections would fail to offer any wider district benefits in terms of being an attraction.”

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