Fleetville development green lit by St Albans council

The facade of the Beaumont Works site.

The facade of the Beaumont Works site. - Credit: Archant

The controversial Beaumont Works development has been green lit by St Albans council, despite the parking problems plaguing the area.

The application was granted by a five to three margin at a planning committee meeting on Monday.

A separate application for listed building consent was granted by five to one.

Neighbour Jonathan Hemmant, who has been lobbying against the application, said: “I am disappointed, but there is little to nothing I can do about it.

“I do not have the resources or the time, so I will keep an eye on it and see what residents can do.”

Mr Hemmant began leafletting the area after an application was made to build 58 residential units at the former clothing factory.

His main concern is the development will put stress on already limited parking in the area.

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The application has plans for just 60 parking spaces for the 58 units, raising concerns cars will spill out onto the surrounding streets.

Hedley Road, adjacent to the development site, is predominantly terraced houses with no off-street parking, meaning residents have to find space either on Hedley Road or on surrounding streets.

Cllr Anthony Rowlands, who called in the application to be discussed by the committee, voiced his disappointment, but said: “I think everybody accepted at some point there would be development on that site.”

He has also expressed his concern there will be an overspill of parking from the site.

However, at the committee meeting, Marshalswick councillor Salih Gaygusuz said the questions over parking were “irrelevant”.

The committee’s chair, fellow Marshalswick councillor Lyn Bolton said: “If we always keep to the proscribed numbers [of parking], we will never pass any applications in the centre of St Albans.”

The applicant, Inland Homes, also spoke at the meeting, with planning manager Gary Magee saying: “The provision of parking spaces is wholly appropriate.”

His and the committee’s comments were made despite several complaints about the parking data in the council officers’ report.

Committee member Cllr Alun Davies said: “I do not think the way the parking is addressed in the officers report is relevant enough to St Albans.”

Cllr Rowlands said: “I found the reasoning in the officers’ report to the committee to be deeply flawed.”

The application was finally granted conditional planning permission, subject to the completion of a Section 106 agreement.