City centre nightclub set to be converted into flats

Club Veeda

Club Veeda in Adelaide Street, St Albans, is set to be converted into residential use. - Credit: Archant

One of St Albans' few remaining night clubs is to be converted into residential use.

Club Veeda in Adelaide Street has been closed since the onset of the first lockdown, but now looks unlikely to reopen after a redevelopment proposal was granted at appeal.

It comes after Club Batchwood went into administration at the end of last year, with the facility now converted into a Covid vaccination centre.

Planning permission has now been granted for change of use from a three-floor nightclub to residential, comprising four two-bedroom flats, two one-bedroom flats and alterations.

The main issues surrounding the plans were the effect of the development on the character or appearance of the St Albans Conservation Area and the locally listed building; whether it would provide a sufficient parking provision and acceptable living conditions and refuse storage facilities to meet the needs of future occupiers.

The building is a converted former warehouse, and as such is considered to contribute to the surrounding Conservation Area, but the proposed changes to the ground floor - including additional glazing - were considered minor as they would only be visible from the immediate vicinity.

Planning inspector M Chalk took into account the lack of parking, with spaces for between 11-13 vehicles required, which means occupiers will have to use surrounding streets.

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But he considered the overall scheme outweighed these factors, and identified the lack of a Local Plan as a contributory factor in approving sustainable development of this nature.

He concluded: "The appeal proposal would provide six new units of housing in a town [sic] centre location with access to public transport in its immediate vicinity and the inclusion of a secure cycle store within the building.

"There would be an economic benefit from the introduction of new dwellings in this location to support the town centre's shops and services, which will typically be closed during the nightclub’s operating hours.

"The development would create a more active frontage in this location, where otherwise this section of Adelaide Street is a relatively inactive area used for passing through from Drovers Way to St Peters Street.

"These benefits attract significant weight, particularly considering the council’s shortfall in housing land and the Government’s objective of significantly boosting the supply of homes."