Demolition delayed for London Colney shopping centre expansion

Ridgeview Hostel

Ridgeview Hostel - Credit: Archant

The demolition of students’ accommodation to make way for a proposed major expansion of an out-of-town shopping centre in St Albans has been put on hold after the scheme was rejected.

Despite officers recommending that Colney Fields shopping park at London Colney be extended by 97,000 square feet, councillors at the recent St Albans district council’s planning referrals committee meeting refused to give the green light.

Their rejection has been welcomed by campaigning local residents who launched a petition and fought against the scheme.

Ramheath Properties submitted the planning application to the council last year on behalf of site freeholders Sainsbury’s to demolish Ridgeview Lodge, which is temporarily being used to house University of Hertfordshire students.

The firm asked for approval to build a 97,000 sq ft development comprising six retail units, each with a full mezzanine level.

But the committee turned it down, saying its size, height and location would result in an “overdevelopment of the site,” adversely impact neighbouring residents and the approach to London Colney’s conservation area.

About 20 locals attended the meeting, with one saying afterwards that there was no need to extend onto Barnet Road as Ridgeview Lodge was “still in use”.