Demolition decision for former St Albans brewhouse

Council backflips on demolition of historic home

A PROMINENT St Albans businessman admitted he was “relieved” to finally get the go-ahead to tear down a property believed to be a former brewhouse and build a new home.

St Albans district council went back on its earlier refusal of the demolition of the house in Marshals Drive which was originally linked to the former mid-18th-Century Marshalswick House, after English Heritage recommended that it should not be listed.

Businessman Lawrence Levy, who recently signed a joint deal to purchase St Albans City Football Club, secured approval on Monday to build a six-bedroom home in its place.

The decision was made despite objections from St Albans Civic Society which said his proposal would amount to the loss of an 18th-Century building of historic interest and would “further erode” the character of Marshals Drive. Twelve other objections were received.

With the woodland and playing fields of The Wick nearby, records of which suggest Roman activity in the vicinity including a possible Roman Road and Roman cremation burials, archaeological investigations will be carried out prior to construction.

In its assessment, English Heritage said that while the existing house was part of the Marshalswick Estate and believed to be the former brewhouse, it had been considerably altered and the original function could no longer be identified.

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The only remaining features of historic interest were the timber posts and beams in the sitting room.

After the meeting Mr Levy told the Herts Advertiser: “I do feel relieved,” and pledged that if it was possible to re-use any old parts of the building, he would do so.

He added: “We live in the community and this is our family home. We are going to create something that is environmentally tasteful.”