Market depot site could be redeveloped for housing

The site of St Albans Charter Market depot in Drovers Way.

The site of St Albans Charter Market depot in Drovers Way. - Credit: SADC

A dilapidated section of the city centre could be redeveloped to provide desperately needed social housing.

Plans have been unveiled to regenerate the Drovers Way depot of St Albans Charter Market and transform the site into a modern four-storey building.

The depot, which is owned by the district council, currently consists of an open-air storage space and run-down workshop.

The proposed replacement building would include commercial space on the ground floor for a market office and market equipment storage.

The other three floors would contain nine flats for social rent and 15 flats for rent at market rate to help pay for the project.

Council bosses believe the redevelopment of the  site would also greatly enhance the look of an area within the city centre where some other buildings have been improved recently.

Details of the scheme are to be presented to a meeting of the council’s Cabinet tonight (Thursday).

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Cabinet is to be asked to approve the redevelopment with the next step being the appointment of a construction contractor.

The move coincides with a revamp of the twice-weekly historic market which will shortly be going to consultation.

Cllr Robert Donald, portfolio holder for commercial, development and wellbeing, said: “The exciting project to redevelop the depot site has the potential to provide much-needed new housing and regenerate another part of Drovers Way to make this a much more attractive area in the very heart of our city.

“One of our top priorities as an administration is to provide more social rented housing for those on lower incomes. This project will provide a useful number of flats at social rent levels to help people we need to retain locally to keep our local economy, essential services and community running but who can’t afford high private sector rents.

“The project is also intended to bring further improvement to an area of the city which has been neglected for too long. It will complement and add to the recent nearby redevelopments which have already enhanced the street scene.

“While we have been concentrating on redeveloping the Civic Centre area around the Alban Arena recently, this proposed depot development shows our commitment to making sure other parts of the city are also not forgotten at the same time.”