Pub licensed for site of former St Albans BHS building

PUBLISHED: 12:01 26 June 2019 | UPDATED: 12:50 26 June 2019

The former BHS site on St Peter's Street in St Albans.

The former BHS site on St Peter's Street in St Albans.

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A new pub has been licensed to open in on the site of the former St Albans BHS building.

Work has begun to demolish BHS in St Peter's Street, St Albans. Picture: Anne SuslakWork has begun to demolish BHS in St Peter's Street, St Albans. Picture: Anne Suslak

Young & Co's Brewery applied to St Albans district council (SADC) for a licence to sell alcohol on the ground floor of the St Peter's Street site.

Gabriel Tavern was pitched as a premium traditional pub which would open from 8am to 12.30am Sunday to Wednesday and 8am to 1.30am Thursday to Saturday.

Drinks would be on sale from 10am to half an hour before closing.

The Aboyne Residents Association lodged the only objection, which said: "This new application for a licence to sell alcohol would excessively extend the hours alcohol can be purchased in the centre of town, and set an unwelcome precedent in an area that is very close to dense residential properties and streets, and at least two primary schools.

British Home Stores on St Peter's Street. Picture: Danny Loo.British Home Stores on St Peter's Street. Picture: Danny Loo.

"For reasons of public safety, to prevent any public nuisance, and for potential crime and disorder issues (particularly given the fall in the number of police now available to deal with any such issues), we feel very strongly that the hours applied for are excessive."

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It described the application as "greedy".

However, an SADC licensing sub-committee on June 6 approved the licence on the condition that a satisfactory multi-camera CCTV system will be installed alongside a Challenge 21 policy.

The former BHS site on St Peter's Street in St Albans.The former BHS site on St Peter's Street in St Albans.

Chair of the sub-committee, Cllr Malachy Pakenham, said: "[Young & Co] specialise in upmarket drinking establishments where you can get food and beer and tables and chairs - there is no planning or licencing reason to prohibit them from doing it."

He said many people might prefer a shop, but stressed few businesses had been interested in occupying the space while it sat empty.

In October last year developers Reef Estates received planning permission to build an 130-bed hotel on the former BHS site, despite officers recommending refusal.

The 0.14 hectare site, which sits between The Works and an alley to Drovers Way, has lain empty since BHS went into administration in 2016.

The former BHS site on St Peter's Street in St Albans.The former BHS site on St Peter's Street in St Albans.

Fifty per cent of the ground floor frontage was reserved for retail space in the application.

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