Have your say on the future of St Albans city centre site

The old police station and memorial garden on Victoria Street

The old police station and memorial garden on Victoria Street - Credit: Archant

Could you help shape the redevelopment of a derelict city centre site into something that is eye-catching, rather than the eyesore it is now?

The NHS Principal Health Centre

The NHS Principal Health Centre - Credit: Archant

A series of events are being hosted from early September where residents, businesses and other organisations are invited to be involved in drawing up designs for the major site in the heart of St Albans.

The seven acre area, near Alban Arena, is bounded by Bricket Road, Victoria Street and St Peter’s Street, and includes the decrepit, vacant police station, the Bricket Road car park, and a health clinic.

In April this year Angle Property launched proposals for a new mixed use scheme centred on the combined Hertfordshire House, former police station and NHS site, along with the public car park opposite the Crown Court, in the Civic Centre.

Its proposed regeneration includes 114 residential units, ranging from studio flats to three-bedroom apartments above restaurants and commercial and retail premises in four-to-six storey high buildings, surrounding a new public square.

Several months on, community group Look! St Albans is hosting and organising the design charrette to encourage the public to be included in the early master-planning of the area, officially known as the “City Centre Opportunity Site (CCOS)”.

Vanessa Gregory, chairwoman of the group, said there is an open invitation to all those interested in helping to draw up the designs – including Angle Property.

Most Read

She explained: “We are independent of the council. People should get involved in this as it their city centre, and everyone has a view on how it should look.”

Vanessa urged people to become involved before “key decisions are made, and no expensive plans have yet been drawn up”.

She added: “We can do so much better with the design using the talent and knowledge of local people, to leave a legacy for future generations that we can be very proud of, because at the moment you come down from St Peter’s Street and see the 1950s/60s concrete buildings, some of which will have to be knocked down.”

The public events will allow the development team to collaborate with the community on shaping the future of the CCOS.

They will be independently, externally facilitated by experts, including planning consultants and architects, from outside the partnership that wishes to develop the site.

This partnership includes St Albans district council, Herts Police and the NHS, which all own properties in the area.

The development team will also work with Boultbee LDN which owns the Maltings shopping centre.

Cllr Julian Daly, the council’s portfolio holder for resources, said: “Most of the [site] was developed in the 1960s and it is now tired and worn.

“A comprehensive, high-quality redevelopment of the area will be transformational for St Albans. It will make the city centre more attractive, vibrant and appealing.

“We want to involve residents through Look! St Albans to help shape what comes forward for the site.”

• A public meeting will be held on September 9, followed by full-day workshops from September 10-11, and a further meeting on September 16.

• Vanessa can be contacted via Vanessa.a.gregory@btinternet.com. For more details on the CCOS see www.stalbans.gov.uk/planning/planningpolicy/ccos.aspx