Discount food store planned for former St Albans gasworks site

PUBLISHED: 06:06 27 February 2017

The last remnant of the gasometers on the former gasworks site in Griffiths Way, at the bottom of Holywell Hill, was pulled down in St Albans. Photo courtesy of Peter Wares

The last remnant of the gasometers on the former gasworks site in Griffiths Way, at the bottom of Holywell Hill, was pulled down in St Albans. Photo courtesy of Peter Wares

Peter Wares

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A new discount food store may be coming to St Albans as part of a new development in the south of the city.

If planning permission is granted, the store will be built in Griffiths Way, on land formerly owned by British Gas. The development also includes a non-food retail store, a gym and a restaurant and drive-through.

A spokesman for Mango Planning, the agent acting on behalf of the applicant, was not yet able to confirm which food store would be coming to the site. He said; “We are discussing the site with several interested parties and will make an announcement as soon as the legalities with the chosen operator are finalised.”

Several comments have been posted on the council’s planning website expressing concerns about the development. One said: “It is very difficult to access and leave Westminster Lodge, this new retail park will exacerbate this terrible situation.” Another comment said: “I fear the roads leading to Griffiths Way are very congested, especially at peak times.

“I think this project should be in a different location, preferably on the outskirts of St Albans, with better road access.”

St Albans Civic Society also lodged a comment about the proposed retail park.

The society said: “We object to this proposal on account of the adverse impact which expanded out-of-town retailing would have on the variety, vitality and viability of St Albans city centre retailing, of which the council needs to be supportive.

“The significant impact which this amount of additional Class A1 space would have on the city centre is demonstrated in the applicant’s planning and retail assessment, which states that offers have already been made from two existing city centre large space retailers TK Maxx and Poundworld, who wish to trade at this location.

“We believe that it is highly unlikely that they would wish to retain their existing city centre stores if they relocated to the application site.”


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