Green Belt homes project for former St Albans pub is rejected

St Albans City & District Council

St Albans City & District Council - Credit: Archant

OBJECTIONS to a proposal for 20 homes in a rural part of St Albans have been borne out, with the district council rejecting the scheme because it would impact on the Green Belt.

An application to demolish the former Barley Mow pub to make way for the residential development which includes seven affordable houses was turned down at a recent St Albans district council planning referrals committee meeting. The scheme comprises five two-bedroom and 15 three-bedroom homes, along with 47 off-street parking spaces on Barley Mow Lane, Colney Heath.

There were 11 submissions advocating the scheme, with supporters saying more housing was needed in the area, the former pub presented an ideal development opportunity and it would clean up an untidy site.

However objections were raised about the detrimental impact on Tyttenhanger village and the Green Belt and with there being a single track road leading to the site, without footpaths, highway safety was another issue.

Some objectors, including the St Albans Green Belt Association, suggested the applicant, Martin Myland, await the results of a joint review of St Albans’ Green Belt boundary, future housing needs and potential housing sites.

The association said while tracts of the Green Belt may have to be surrendered to housing following the imminent release of the review’s findings, this should take place in conjunction with an agreed-upon Local Plan, “and not at the behest of developers”.

The St Albans Civic Society echoed those concerns.

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An up-to-date Local Plan setting out future development in the district is on hold pending the outcome of the joint review.

After the meeting chairman Cllr Geoffrey Turner said the application was rejected for many reasons including that it was inappropriate, would fail to preserve openness of the Green Belt, the houses were too bulky and had an “unsympathetic ribbon layout”.