Green light for landmark development in St Albans city centre
- Credit: SADC
This is the new landmark building planned for a major site in St Albans city centre.
After months of debate and consultation, planning permission has finally been granted for a £60m development on the City Centre Opportunity Site South.
Land near the Alban Arena, on the site of the former police station and NHS clinic on the corner of Victoria Street and Bricket Road, will be used for the project.
Detailed plans for the design went before the council’s planning referrals committee who granted permission for it to proceed.
The run-down buildings that stood on the site have already been demolished and preparatory ground works are near completion.
Work to construct the new buildings is scheduled to begin by the late spring with Morgan Sindall the main contractor.
A residential block will be linked to the commercial buildings by a pedestrian walkway.
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The development will include 93 new homes - 60 for sale at market price and 33 for social rent - around 6,000 square metres of business space and 100 car parking spaces.
The design is energy efficient and sustainable, and will feature air source pumps which absorb heat from the outside air as a renewable energy source to provide heating and warm water.
There will also be green and brown roofs as well as a green wall, electric vehicle charging points and thermally-efficient construction materials.
Cllr Robert Donald, portfolio holder for commercial, development and wellbeing, said: “I’m delighted that the plans for the development of this crucial city centre location have finally been approved. We will now be able to move forward immediately with this ambitious development despite the challenges of the pandemic and start our programme for the regeneration of the Civic Centre area with this major part of the site.
“The design that gained planning permission received by far the largest backing from the public who gave their views on the architectural competition we held at a series of extensive consultation events and an online survey last year.
“This redevelopment scheme will also meet our commitment to deliver high-quality developments that are sustainable and eco-friendly.
“This design right in the heart of our city has the wow factor that many members of the public thought was missing in the previous design. It will include an iconic building on the corner of Victoria Streeet and Bricket Road and provide an attractive landscaped entrance from Victoria Street. When built I believe it will be seen as a magnificent addition to St Albans’ heritage for future generations to enjoy over many decades.”
Freda Chaloner, chairman of St Albans Civic Society, said: "The Civic Society is pleased that develop this site is now proceeding after an architectural contest and public consultation. It will be important to ensure that the business space is flexible enough to accommodate what is almost certain to be changed demands for retail, hospitality and community uses. A friendly and welcoming outside space with lots of greenery will be key to its success."