St Albans residents condemn plans for new flats development

PUBLISHED: 18:49 23 September 2012

Demonstration against the Quadrant flats in St Albans.

Demonstration against the Quadrant flats in St Albans.

Archant

ANGRY residents in Marshalswick hope to send a strong message to the planning inspectorate that they are opposed to a scheme for the construction of flats near the Quadrant in St Albans.

On Saturday September 15, a group gathered at the local shopping centre to protest against a proposal to demolish 12 garages, to make way for the construction of six new garages, along with eight flats.

Residents of maisonettes on The Ridgeway and Hughenden Road are concerned about a “serious shortage” of parking spaces for existing residents should the scheme, currently under appeal, go ahead.

St Albans district councillor for Marshalswick north, Geoff Churchard, explained that although there were about 400 flats, built in the 1960s above and behind the shopping centre, there was inadequate parking and garages which were too small for most modern cars.

Cllr Churchard explained that the application submitted by Guernsey-based Remise Investments Ltd to the council was a “contrived plan to build extra dwellings in an area of high density flats which already suffer a serious deficiency of parking spaces”.

He said the developer bought derelict garages which were originally built for the residents.

Hannah Pegg, who lives in a maisonette on The Ridgeway, said the scheme would take away communal green and add to “parking chaos” at the Quadrant.

She claimed Remise Investments had, “deliberately left garages to rot and has refused to clean them up” despite residents voicing health and safety concerns.

The council refused the scheme on the grounds that there was insufficient parking available, the loss of 12 garages was not justified, and the size of the development was out of keeping with the area’s character.

The decision is currently under scrutiny following an appeal to the planning inspectorate by Remise Investments, with a decision expected shortly.

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