Shopping centre entrance in St Albans set for revamp after successful appeal

PUBLISHED: 15:01 23 March 2015

ID shot of St Albans Town Centre, Market Place, Entrance to Christopher Place

ID shot of St Albans Town Centre, Market Place, Entrance to Christopher Place

Archant

The revamp of a St Albans shopping precinct entrance, which will force a longstanding floral business to vacate its premises, can now go ahead after a planning inspector gave it the thumbs up at an appeal.

St Albans district council was asked last year for approval to extend the retail unit previously occupied by Millets at Christopher Place into the neighbouring flower kiosk, to create additional floorspace at No 19-21 French Row.

But the council did not determine the application within the statutory timeframe, so Hermes Property lodged an appeal.

In its appeal statement for the planning inspectorate, the authority said it would have refused the scheme as it would “result in an unsympathetic and visually garish form of development unbalancing the existing retail building line to the detriment of the character and appearance of the retail unit”.

Planning inspector Philip Willmer said he had considered whether the extension into the kiosk would “preserve or enhance the character or appearance of the St Albans conservation area”.

The former Millets store is in a three-storey building comprising a shop on the ground floor with storage on the upper floors. Christopher Place was built in the early 1980s.

Mr Willmer said the extension would be contained by the archway at the entrance, and would not “project in front of it”, as feared by the council.

He also referred to the loss of florist shop, Flowers! Flowers! from its small premises at the entrance, saying, “I am aware of local concerns in respect of the loss of the existing business here.

“I am sympathetic to the desire to retain what I understand to be a popular independent business in the city centre.

“However, the protection of an individual business is outside the scope of this appeal.”

The floral shop has been asked by Christopher Place management to consider relocating inside the precinct.

More news stories

16 minutes ago

A London Colney primary school went the extra mile for its nativity play by including a real donkey and baby.

15:00

A solicitor is raising awareness of mental well-being in her workplace by utilising the specialist training she has attended.

14:29

Legendary Hertfordshire band The Zombies will be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame next year. Alan Davies spoke with the group’s lead singer Colin Blunstone.

Two men have been arrested in connection with a burglary in St Albans.

CountryPhile

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.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the The Herts Advertiser e-edition E-edition
Zoo Watch CountryPhile

Newsletter Sign Up

Herts Advertiser weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read stories

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists

Herts Most Wanted Herts Business Awards