St Albans development likened to “putting a quart into a pint pot” to be put under the microscope

PUBLISHED: 11:56 22 May 2017

226a London Road.

226a London Road.

Danny Loo Photography 2017

An application to build flats on London Road, likened by one councillor to “putting a quart into a pint pot”, will be discussed by St Albans council tonight.

Allen Developments is hoping to build nine flats with nine parking spaces on a 776sqm piece of land.

However, neighbours have raised concerns with local councillor Robert Donald both about overdevelopment, and that the development will overlook their properties.

Cllr Donald said: “London Road varies hugely, but in that little part they are domestic-sized properties, not large flats.

“Residents feel it is too much for the area, and they are concerned about overlooking because the space is small, and close to their properties.

226a London Road.226a London Road.

“They feel their concerns are not being listened to by planners.

“This is a green, leafy area, and I will fight to keep the green appearance and open vista.”

He has called the application is to be discussed by St Albans district council planning committee today (22).

In a document released beforehand, Cllr Donald suggested on-site parking will be insufficient as the number of residents could be much higher than nine.

Developer Des Allen said: “It’s been [put in for planning permission] two or three times because we have been talking to the planners trying to get it exactly as they wanted in the planning criteria.

“There is no more we can do to pacify the people.”

He pointed to alterations that have been made to the plans, including screens on the flats’ balconies to prevent occupants seeing into other properties, and keeping the buildings out of the neighbours’ eye line.

“We have been building houses in St Albans for 30 years, and feel lucky that we get the opportunity to shape the town.

“The last thing we want to do is something that does not put us in a good light.”

Council officers have recommended to the committee that the application be given conditional permission, meaning while the development can go ahead, it is subject to certain restrictions.

These include requirements for the screens on the balconies to already be installed before people move in, and requirements on drainage and lighting.

The committee’s agenda can be viewed at www.stalbansgov.uk

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