Campaign bids to overturn supermarket scheme for St Albans pub’s beer garden

The Three Hammers beer garden

The Three Hammers beer garden - Credit: Archant

Two hundred years ago it was a blacksmiths before getting a new lease of life as a beer retailer in 1854.

But as patrons today enjoy a beverage at the Grade II listed Three Hammers Pub in Chiswell Green, a storm continues to brew over plans to rip up the local landmark’s garden and turn it into a Sainsbury’s store.

Residents have joined forces with St Stephen parish council to oppose the proposal for a single storey convenience store including access and parking.

The Three Hammers is located at the junction of Chiswell Green Lane and Watford Road, two miles south of St Albans city centre.

Part of the building dates from the 1400s or 1500s.

Sainsbury’s is proposing a reconfigured car park behind Three Hammers to provide 50 customer parking spaces for both the pub and store.

A private slip road incorporating five parking spaces currently provided in front of the historic pub would be replaced with a new landscaped area.

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However the scheme has provoked strong opposition.

Among the scores of objections recently lodged with St Albans district council, which has yet to consider the scheme, are concerns about the potential dangers associated with increased traffic at the busy junction.

One objector said: “I was horrified to see the planning application for a Sainsbury’s local shop on the site of the Three Hammers Pub garden.

“There is a large Sainsbury’s store less than two miles away.”

Another said: “We shouldn’t be losing green space. It will be detrimental to the listed building.”

About 100 people recently attended a consultation on the proposal hosted by the parish council, with 70 lodging objections afterwards.

Council chairman Cllr Mick Freeman said it was “clear” residents did not want the store and that a new Sainsbury’s would have a, “significant adverse impact on existing established shops and ultimately lead to the closure of the post office”.