Residents launch campaign to preserve Marshalswick community pub

The Baton, St Albans

The Baton, St Albans - Credit: Archant

Scores of objections to the demolition of a community pub to be replaced by a foodstore and flats have been submitted to the district council.

A planning application from Discovery Properties proposing to demolish The Baton pub on The Ridgeway, Marshalswick, has infuriated neighbours.

It has been ‘called in’ for a planning committee to decide by Cllr Janet Churchard who described it as ‘a significant change of use locally’ as the pub was the only one in Marshalswick.

She also pointed to the impact the retail unit - which is understood to be an M & S foodstore - would have on the adjoining shops at The Quadrant.

As well as the food hall, the application proposes to build a block of flats comprising 12 one and two bedroomed apartments.

Among the objections is one from Marshalswick North Residents Association concerned about a third supermarket opening in and around The Quadrant, the lack of affordable housing proposed and the introduction of extra traffic to an already congested area.

The residents association also commented that the viability of The Baton had been compromised by a mismatch between the owners’ concept of an estate pub and the needs of the community

Most Read

Local resident Lindsey McGregor, who urged people to continue lodging objection with the district council even though the official date for submissions has closed, said she felt that the owners of The Baton, Spirit Inns, had been running it down for some time with a view to redeveloping it.

Residents felt the pub had not had the investment it needed to serve local families and to become the heart of the community again.

She added: “It really frustrates me because in my view it could be an absolute goldmine.”

No date has yet been given for the application to go before councillors.