Row over sign in St Albans conservation area

PUBLISHED: 19:00 08 February 2010 | UPDATED: 14:53 06 May 2010

A SIGN on a house in a St Albans conservation area has led to accusations of visual vandalism being laid at the door of the district council. The house in Sandpit Lane is owned by St Albans District Council (SADC) and makes up part of a row of Victorian/E

A SIGN on a house in a St Albans conservation area has led to accusations of visual vandalism being laid at the door of the district council.

The house in Sandpit Lane is owned by St Albans District Council (SADC) and makes up part of a row of Victorian/Edwardian houses.

Roger Miles, of Upper Culver Road, St Albans, said: "A sign has been fixed to the wall, beside the fine front door directing callers to a second entrance. It is oversize, out of character and disfigures the period frontage. Crass and insensitive best sums it up."

Mr Miles pointed out that English Heritage last year issued a report on conservation areas throughout the country concluding that there were many local authorities that failed in their obligation to monitor and maintain standards and St Albans was named as one of them: "So not only do we have a local authority which is in breach of its duty, it actively offends against the principles it is supposed to uphold."

Karen Dragovic, Head of Housing at St Albans City and District Council, said the house had been converted into two flats which would be used for temporary accommodation.

She said the sign was installed to direct people to the entrance of the new flat on the ground floor and added that the sign did have planning consent.

But Cllr Chris Brazier, planning portfolio holder, disagreed saying: "The sign should have conservation area consent to be there which it did not. It will be replaced with something more suitable.


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