Road-safety agreement delays home project

PUBLISHED: 12:04 19 January 2006 | UPDATED: 20:19 03 May 2010

WORK on one of the biggest housing schemes in St Albans is not now expected to start until the middle of this year at the earliest. Even though Linden Homes and Network Rail cleared the last major hurdle for the huge development 17 months ago, they have s

WORK on one of the biggest housing schemes in St Albans is not now expected to start until the middle of this year at the earliest. Even though Linden Homes and Network Rail cleared the last major hurdle for the huge development 17 months ago, they have still failed to sign a vital planning agreement over proposed road-safety work. However the company says the problems over the work at the junction of Hatfield Road and Station Way have now been resolved and the agreement is ready for signing. Education The development on the rough car park at St Albans City Station will comprise 362 one and two-bedroom flats, parking for more than 800 commuters, a health-and-fitness suite and a GP surgery. Associated work includes the junction improvements at Hatfield Road and Station Way designed to ease traffic problems and new lifts at the station so that disabled passengers will have access to trains. It will also include a new bus interchange at the station, improved cycle and footpath links with the Alban Way and a contribution of £289,000 to other highway works. In addition the developers also have to provide contributions totalling more than £380,000 towards primary and secondary education, libraries and childcare and youth facilities and £100,000 towards enhanced leisure facilities in the district A spokesperson for Linden Homes said that although the development scheme was not expected to start until the middle of the year work was due to begin in the spring to upgrade the current car parking to ensure that the existing capacity would not be reduced He added: "There are still some details about work at the station which are being discussed with Network Rail which owns the site." A spokesperson for Herts Highways said she was unable to comment on the situation while negotiations were continuing. A Network Rail spokesperson said: "As far as we are concerned there are no major obstacles in the way of the scheme and we are looking forward to seeing work begin.

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I should probably have taken the hint! Walking out into the garden recently an unprecedented flock of thirty or more crows raucously greeted me from the treetops at the bottom of my garden. Cawing and croaking these big, black birds clung clumsily to the top most branches and twigs, jostling and flapping to stay balanced in a constant flurry of feathers. There is always something ominous about crows – they are after all carrion crows, the vultures of the bird world – always watching for scraps and weakness that might mean their next meal.

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