Nursery scheme approved for St Albans pill-packing site

The old PPAS site which has permission to be converted into a nursery

The old PPAS site which has permission to be converted into a nursery - Credit: Archant

Developers have finally found the right prescription to turn their plans into reality for a vacant site in St Albans.

A former pill packing unit in Highfield Lane, Tyttenhanger, is to be turned into a nursery for 66 children.

The property, over one-third of an acre, is owned by the NHS and was used for pharmaceutical packing and assembly for West Herts Hospitals, providing employment to local residents.

But that use ceased in March 2012, and the Pharmaceutical Packing and Assembly Service (PPAS) site has been vacant ever since.

Back in 2011 a proposal to build six homes on the site was criticised by Cllr Chris Brazier who said the site was unsuitable – that scheme was later withdrawn.

And last year an application for a change of use from office to non-residential institution, to create a children’s day nursery was refused by St Albans district council.

However last Thursday (May 29) at the council’s planning referrals committee meeting, Seymour House Partnership’s bid for a change of use to a registered nursery went through.

Most Read

The scheme had been called in to determine whether prior approval was needed, because local residents were concerned about the impact of increased traffic. The nursery will have 17 car park spaces.

On April 6 this year, a series of new permitted development rights were brought into force by the Government.

These remove the need to seek permission for different changes of use in certain circumstances, and it was under these new rules that the committee decided that prior approval was not needed.