Community rallies behind St Albans pub after demolition threat

Planning permission to turn the Baton pub into flats and an M&S foodhall was granted this week (23)

Planning permission to turn the Baton pub into flats and an M&S foodhall was granted this week (23) - Credit: Archant

A last-ditch bid to prevent a neighbourhood pub being demolished means a petition with 100 signatures opposing the proposal will go to a planning committee next week.

Discovery Properties have submitted a planning application to demolish The Baton pub on The Ridgeway, Marshalswick, and replace it with flats and a shop - believed to be an M & S foodstore.

It has been ‘called in’ to St Albans plans central committee where councillors will discuss the application on Monday night, November 23.

The petition, set up by local resident Lindsey McGregor, calls on councillors to save The Baton which could be ‘a fantastic local pub at the heart of our community, a place for families to meet, eat and drink together’ before it is too late

She and other signatories believe the pub has been run down deliberately and maintain that with the right investment, it could still be a successful local pub and centre of the community.

A number of other objections to the scheme have been lodged with the planning committee raising issues such as the lack of need for an additional supermarket at the Quadrant, increase in traffic congestion and parking, overlooking and the impact on the existing shopping centre.

St Albans Civic Society, Marshalswick North Residents Association and Sandridge parish council have raised objections as well.

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Planning officers are recommending that the scheme should receive permission, citing the lack of local policies seeking to retain pubs in that use only.

A report to the committee says the owners have supplied information to demonstrate that The Baton is not used buy local people and and is no longer viable.

It also says that with a community centre next door providing accommodation for local groups, two pubs within a mile radius and close public transport links to St Albans city centre, ‘the loss of this pub cannot be resisted’.

Objections can still be registered with the council and to sign the petition click here. Alternatively click here and search Save the Baton.