St Albans’ St Peter’s Street hotel plan set to be rejected

A BUDGET hotel scheme for the city centre which had been welcomed by many hard-pressed retailers is being recommended for planning refusal next week.

The proposal to build a 125-bedroom Premier Inn behind the facade of existing properties at the top of St Peter’s Street together with three retail/restaurant units is going to next week’s meeting of St Albans planning referrals committee.

But an officers’ report to the committee is recommending that planning permission is refused on the grounds of its scale and unsatisfactory design together with the likely impact on the road network.

The proposal is to retain the facade of 71-75 St Peter’s Street and build a four- to five-storey hotel behind to house a Premier Inn.

But the application has attracted a number of concerns including one from the council’s own markets officer who says that while his department would welcome the development of the area at the top end of St Peter’s Street, the “clang and clatter” involved in setting up the market at 3.30am would cause noise problems for guests.

Concern has also been voiced about its proximity to Veeda Nightclub in Adelaide Street and Herts Police believe there would be a risk of crime and anti-social behaviour given its location and nature.

Highways officers have voiced reservations about the impact of service vehicles on the flow of traffic and safety while St Albans Civic Society describes the hotel building as too high in relation to the locality with inadequate work done on the impact on the city skyline.

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But in recommending refusal, planning officers say that the principle of the development, including the suitability of the site for the intended use, has the council’s support.

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