Major housing scheme to start in St Albans

St Albans residents still concerned about homes being built on King Harry Lane’s former playing fields

THE INITIAL stages of a controversial 150-home development at King Harry Lane in St Albans are underway after developers secured final approval despite ongoing objections from residents.

The large housing scheme on former St Albans School playing fields is a joint venture between Linden Homes, which acquired the 20-acre-site from Harbour Trustees Ltd, and Wates Developments.

A spokesman for Linden Wates has confirmed that “enabling works,” paving the way for the groundwork of “King’s Park” to start in summer, began recently.

The project, in the planning for about ten years and the subject of two successful appeals, will see 150 homes with a mix of two-to-five bedroom houses built, along with 284 car park spaces, access and landscaping.

About a third of King’s Park will comprise affordable homes with 17 two-bedroom apartments and 36 two, three and four-bedroom houses – 53 in total.

The spokesman said: “The overall construction period is likely to take 18 months, subject to everything going to plan.”

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Linden Wates is giving a financial contribution of about �3.2 million to both St Albans district and Hertfordshire county councils to be used towards a range of projects including transport improvements, education, community facilities and services.

The spokesman said letters had been sent to neighbours of the King Harry Lane development, advising them of initial work such as hoardings being erected to secure the area, and demolition of on-site buildings to take place shortly.

Some changes were made to the King’s Park application in response to residents’ and district council officers’concerns before final approval was given.

However not all locals were appeased by those alterations, with 24 submitting objections in regard to traffic congestion, lack of infrastructure, the impact on nearby St Stephens Church, noise and dirt pollution.

But council’s central planning committee approved the final proposals for the major scheme, including the layout of homes.

The northeastern part of the King Harry playing fields, and 47 King Harry Lane, is being turned into a retirement community.