St Albans furniture store could be 'a bar too far'

OWNERS of a St Albans city-centre furniture store have applied for planning permission to turn their premises into a bar/restaurant. Woods and Woods of 2 Chequer Street, whose lease is due to run out in nine months time, have applied to St Albans District

OWNERS of a St Albans city-centre furniture store have applied for planning permission to turn their premises into a bar/restaurant.

Woods and Woods of 2 Chequer Street, whose lease is due to run out in nine months time, have applied to St Albans District Council for change of use. But councillors and residents fear it's a case of a bar too far.

John Cook, of Lower Dagnall Street, St Albans, said: "We have surely reached saturation point in this city with restaurants and bars. Also, I believe there is a policy in place that 90 per cent of frontages in Chequer Street must remain in retail use."

City-centre councillors are calling the application in so that it can be considered by members of the planning committee instead of being dealt with by planning officers.

There have been several complaints in the past from city-centre residents and members of groups like Save Our Sleep who claim the disturbance and noise from pubs and clubs in the centre is destroying their quality of life.

The plan is due to go before the council's plans (central) sub-committee next month.