St Albans Civic Centre development plans to be released

AN ATTEMPT to delay the official release of a development brief to transform the Civic Centre in the heart of St Albans was quickly scotched at Wednesday’s district council meeting.

The framework outlining possible future uses of the area, including a mix of offices, homes and a hotel, is now available for developers to use as a guide to help turn it into a vibrant new quarter.

At a full St Albans district council meeting on Wednesday, July 11, Cllr Chris Brazier said suggestions in the development brief should be examined more by members.

He added: “People haven’t had the time to digest it.”

Cllr Geoffrey Harrison added that it should be deferred to allow “thorough discussion”.

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However Cllr Maxine Crawley said it had been scrutinised by a committee, and members had had enough time to look at the document.

Cllr Gillian Clark said there was a risk members would take too long “pontificating” and it would be unacceptable to wait longer.

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A consultation report on the Civic Centre revamp said there was some uncertainty about the effects on local air quality, should the council’s hopes for the redevelopment come to fruition.

However a “do-nothing” option would result in a “piecemeal uncoordinated development”.

Before the meeting, the council’s portfolio holder for planning Cllr Teresa Heritage said the aim was to be as “flexible as possible” as the council did not want to tell developers what to do.

She added: “We are looking for innovation.”

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