St Albans ambulance site sell-off is ‘good value’

St Albans Ambulance Station

St Albans Ambulance Station - Credit: Archant

Buying out the ambulance station on a site earmarked for a multi-million pound development in St Albans represents good value for the county council according to property experts.

Herts county council is paying £1.6 million to “buy out” the user rights of the East of England Ambulance Service’s premises on the Ariston site in Harpenden Road which is earmarked primarily for residential development.

The ambulance service is anxious to relocate to a more suitable location and the county council has to pay for the surrender of its user rights on the Ariston site as well as making a financial contribution towards the cost and fees for the acquisition of the new premises.

This week’s meeting of the county council’s cabinet agreed to make the £1.6 million payment and a £25,000-plus contribution towards identifying and purchasing the site of a new ambulance station after hearing from property consultants Lambert Smith Hampton that the overall package to ensure the ambulance service surrendered its user rights represented value for money.

If the cabinet had not agreed, there would have delays to the redevelopment scheme and the money the countuy council would receive from the sale of the land as well as additional fees and costs.

The county council is now able to make a new outline planning application for the site on which 55 new homes are expected to be built. Key community users such as the Pioneer and Judo Clubs are set to be retained