‘No coffee shop’ promise as part of St Albans shopping centre revamp

The entrance to Christopher Place

The entrance to Christopher Place - Credit: Archant

Two shops are likely to be relocated from historic French Row to make way for one new, bigger store and a grander entrance mooted for a shopping precinct in the heart of St Albans.

But the proposal has sparked fears among members of St Albans Civic Society that the affected stores – Millets and Flowers!Flowers! (sic) – will make way for yet another coffee shop.

Christopher Place has recently lodged a planning application with St Albans district council seeking permission to give its main entrance a facelift.

Details were sketchy at the time of going to press because the scheme is still being validated before it goes on to the council’s website.

However a spokesman for Christopher Place confirmed that the florist shop operating at the entrance has been asked to relocate within the precinct.

It is not known as yet where or when the florists will move from the entrance, as negotiations are still underway.

But the Herts Advertiser understands that outdoors store Millets is in discussion with management at the Maltings to relocate near the Wilkinson shop.

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The proposed relocation of the two shops has raised fears that yet another coffee shop could be opened in the city centre.

Eric Roberts of St Albans Civic Society said: “It would be a shame to have the florists move when they are such an attractive aspect of the entrance, and are highly thought of.

“I hope there is not a change of use application to turn Millets and the florists into a coffee shop or something that sells food and drink.”

The spokesman for Christopher Place said that contrary to local fears Flowers!Flowers! and Millets “won’t become a coffee shop”.

He said: “There is no application for a coffee shop. Christopher Place is applying to create a new entrance.”

It is believed that once vacated, Millets and the florist shop would be combined to create a bigger retail unit.

However there were no further details on who would move into the premises.