Bid to redevelop derelict Harpenden building looks set to be rejected

The derelict James Marshall building in Harpenden

The derelict James Marshall building in Harpenden - Credit: Archant

The future of a well-known derelict building in Harpenden has long stirred debate but plans to turn it into a care home and cafe look set to be rejected next week.

The application put forward by Pegasus Life would see the demolition of the existing James Marshall House in Leyton Road and construction of three two, four and six storey apartment blocks with a public cafe.

The application will go before councillors on St Albans plans north commitee on Monday night with a recommendation that the plans should be refused,

Cllr Teresa Heritage called in the application for a committee decision because she felt that the size and location of the development was of interest to town residents and should be made in the public domain.

She said that while she was not against the application, there were elements of it that were causing concern.

Those included the height of the six storey apartment block, which would far exceed any other building in Harpenden, the fact that balconies might look over nearby nurseries, traffic problems, and potential loss of trees.

Planning officers are recommending rejection because of the lack of affordable housing, height of the six-storey block and insufficient distance between two of the buildings.