New vision to transform St Albans

PUBLISHED: 16:01 17 September 2009 | UPDATED: 14:27 06 May 2010

AMBITIOUS proposals to transform the city centre have been unveiled in a new exhibition. The City Vision project includes a series of proposals for improving streets around the city, new and improved public spaces and two options to develop the key sites

AMBITIOUS proposals to transform the city centre have been unveiled in a new exhibition.

The City Vision project includes a series of proposals for improving streets around the city, new and improved public spaces and two options to develop the key sites of Drovers Way and the Civic Centre.

It also suggests the creation of a green ring circling the city to be used by pedestrians and cyclists.

The aim is to create a blueprint which will enable the council to bid for funds to try and turn the vision into a reality.

Both of the options for Drovers Way and the Civic Centre include creating a new civic hub, either upgrading or relocating the Alban Arena, building a department store and relocating the Museum of St Albans.

Option 1 proposes a winter garden public space and news High Street shops while Option 2 takes in a new boutique cinema with shops and restaurants below and a retail lane linking High Street shops with St Peter's Street.

Clive Miller, the council's project manager for the City Vision project, described St Albans as, "a sleeping giant" which was long overdue for a major facelift.

And he pointed out that by having such a vision, it would enable the district to bid into a funding pot as had happened in many other similar towns and cities across the UK and advertise the potential further afield in Europe.

He added: "We need to make St Albans as a city more capable of catering for existing and future populations."

Council leader, Cllr Robert Donald, explained that the response to the City Vision consultation would feed into the Local Development Framework, the council's new planning blueprint for the district.

He said: "We want everyone's views about the city centre and how it should be reshaped for the future so it provides 21st century facilities for everyone including a healthier, greener environment to enjoy with good-quality shopping and leisure facilities and cultural attractions."

The exhibition can be seen every day until next Saturday, September 26, at the shop unit opposite Costa Coffee in the Maltings shopping centre. It opens from 10am to 5pm daily except Sunday with a late opening until 8pm on Tuesday.


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