Step forward over St Albans civic centre development - but uncertainty remains over site’s future

St Albans police station. Picture: FRASER WHIELDON

St Albans police station. Picture: FRASER WHIELDON - Credit: Archant

A bid to transform a mostly derelict city centre site has taken a step closer - but uncertainty remains over what the future of the site will look like.

The health centre in Civic Close. Picture: FRASER WHIELDON

The health centre in Civic Close. Picture: FRASER WHIELDON - Credit: Archant

St Albans council has had its bid to revamp the former police station in Victoria Street and the nearby health centre approved as part of its plans for a civic centre opportunity site (CCOS).

However the council said it has not yet published formal plans for the site.

Angle Property, which owns the nearby Hertfordshire House and put forward its own plans for the site last April, said it is disappointed not to have its plans to create a series of homes centred on the combined site selected instead.

A spokesman for the company added: “As a key partner and landowner it is very frustrating that the council have not provided us with their development proposals or any detailed plans.

“We, like many other stakeholders, await to see the council’s intentions.”

The former police station is being disposed of as part of a county-wide plan by the commissioner to introduce more shared estates with other services, such as the fire service.

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Bidders submitted offers for the 1960s building to the commissioner, out of which St Albans council was chosen as the preferred bidder.

Hertfordshire police and crime commissioner, David Lloyd - who is responsible for the police site - said: “The old building wasn’t suitable for modern day policing, whereas this development will deliver ongoing revenue for us to spend on local policing.”

A spokesman for Herts Community Trust, which manages the health centre in Civic Close, said: “We welcome the opportunity to work with our partners at St Albans council, Hertfordshire Constabulary and other local organisations to ensure we have a facility which will help us provide modern healthcare, while also helping to rejuvenate this particular area of the city centre.“

Cllr Julian Daly, portfolio holder for development at the council, said: “We want to see this area developed in a cohesive way, for the benefit of our community.”

Cllr Daly said the council will meet with representatives from Angle Property to discuss the CCOS plans.

The council and Angle Property took part in a design charette hosted by Look! St Albans last October.