City centre Poundland store could be demolished and rebuilt

The former Poundland store in St Peter's Street, St Albans.

The former Poundland store in St Peter's Street, St Albans. - Credit: Google Streetview

Plans have been unveiled which could see the demolition and rebuilding of the former Poundland store in St Albans city centre.

Developers Briffa Phillips Architects submitted an application to demolish the existing building in the city centre to create a new four storey building on January 7.

Discount retailer OneBelow moved into the unit in April 2021, but the new plans would allow a restaurant to move into the space if there is no retail demand.

The proposed plans to replace the Poundland building.

The developers have outlined how the new building could look. - Credit: Briffa Phillips Architects

The development will also create 14 new flats, including two one-bedroom, 11 two-bedroom and one three-bedroom apartments.

If approved by St Albans district council (SADC), the new development will follow a similar project taking place next door. Gatsby Retail Ltd won an appeal last June to demolish the former Poundworld store, and replace it with three new retail units and 20 dwellings.

Briffa Phillips Architects said they have responded to feedback during the pre-application stage to ensure the scheme is appropriate for the St Albans Conservation Area and for the building’s neighbours.

The changes include scrapping plans for a fifth storey, the removal of balconies to address privacy concerns from adjacent buildings, and a reduction in the height of the roof. 

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In a design statement submitted to the district council, the developers noted the change in use class would allow a restaurant to move into the building if there was no demand for new retail space.

The developers also said by placing the new dwellings fronting Drovers Way, the “proposals add life, visual interest and improved natural surveillance” to the road, while the existing building is currently set back.

The rear of the building will also have a curved element, similar to No 67, to disguise the retail back of house storage and refuse suite.

There is no parking allocated to the flats, with the application arguing its city centre location allows for sustainable travel, which they say had been deemed acceptable during pre-application stages. The plans include space for 19 bicycles.

Consultation on the plans is open on the district council’s planning portal (Ref: 5/2021/3386) until February 5. 

A decision on the plans is expected by early April 2022.