Battle goes on over bid to demolish historic village pub
PUBLISHED: 20:06 15 October 2008 | UPDATED: 13:39 06 May 2010
AN APPEAL is set to decide if developers should get the go-ahead to demolish a locally-listed pub and replace it with a housing scheme. St Albans District Council (SADC) refused Idealrise Ltd planning permission for seven three-bedroom terraced houses on
AN APPEAL is set to decide if developers should get the go-ahead to demolish a locally-listed pub and replace it with a housing scheme.
St Albans District Council (SADC) refused Idealrise Ltd planning permission for seven three-bedroom terraced houses on the site of The Swan pub in Watling Street, Park Street, which served its last pint in February.
The pub is a locally-listed building within a Conservation Area but Idealrise argue that its loss can be justified in light of the "extensive" 20th-century alterations already made and a lack of viable options to convert it.
If built, the homes would be two storeys high with a bedroom in the loft, the scheme would include parking for a total of 11 cars and a private garden at the rear of each dwelling.
Terry O'Sullivan, the managing director of Idealrise, said that his company was very disappointed with the council's decision to refuse permission.
He said the proposal included features which the company had taken from other buildings around the area to ensure the scheme was in keeping with the surroundings.
He added that the council wanted to retain the current building but he argued that it wasn't a viable option because of the large cost involved in converting the pub.
He also said that a report found little architectural or historical interest in it
He added: "They are really dragging their heels on keeping the existing building but we just can't make it work. What we have got on the table will enhance the conservation area."
The council say the proposal would have a detrimental impact on the Conservation Area because it would create "a cramped overdevelopment of the site and a dominant structure in the streetscene".
Local resident Ben Wilkinson supports the council's decision and he would like to see the pub reopened, but accepted it was highly unlikely.
He added: "What I think is completely unacceptable is for the building to be knocked down. It is a landmark building, slap bang in the middle of a Conservation Area which could be converted for alternative use if necessary. The only reason that demolition is proposed is to maximise the profits of the developers - and I don't think that is acceptable mitigation for further harming the character of an already highly-put-upon village.