New look for St Albans city centre

PUBLISHED: 18:24 11 January 2014

A crane demolishes the old Oaklands College building

A crane demolishes the old Oaklands College building

Archant

Two major construction projects are well underway in St Albans city centre, where a crane is dominating the horizon above one site, and demolition work has levelled a former college at another.

A spokeswoman for Hightown Praetorian & Churches Housing Association and Nicholas King Homes said the partnership was working “full steam ahead” to build 109 homes in the final phase of development on the former Oaklands College city campus.

Old buildings at the St Peter’s/Hatfield Road site have recently been demolished and the foundations are being dug for the first 24 apartments which should be completed towards the end of this year.

The spokeswoman said that some of the bricks and rubble from the former college would be reused as foundation ballast for the development.

The first phase includes seven apartments to be let at affordable rents through St Albans district council’s choice based lettings scheme, and two shared ownership apartments will also be available.

The second phase of development, which consists of a further 85 homes, including 31 for affordable rent and three for shared ownership, are scheduled for completion by the end of 2015.

And in the commercial heart of the city on St Peter’s Street, buildings which until recently provided office space for charity the Institute of Acoustics have been mostly knocked down and the site is now towered over by a huge crane.

The building façade at 71-75 St Peter’s Street has been preserved to become incorporated into the four-storey 123-bedroom Premier Inn budget hotel.

A spokesman for the developer said construction was on schedule to be completed by the end of this August. The scheme was one of two new hotels approved by the council in October 2012.

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