Supermarket set to take over former St Albans video store

Blockbuster Video Store on London Road, St Albans

Blockbuster Video Store on London Road, St Albans - Credit: Archant

WORK has begun on developing a former city centre video rental store into a Morrisons ‘M’ local.

Plans to fit a new shopfront at the former Blockbusters store in London Road were approved last month and a licensing application is due to be heard next Friday, July 19.

Officers approved the development as they believed it would not adversely affect nearby residential and commercial properties.

Two further applications in relation to the new store are currently in the pipeline and being consulted on.

Suzie Vincent of Ginger Natural Health, directly next to the building, said the council had failed to inform her that Morrisons had been granted permission to develop the site.

She said she had known the store was coming to the road earlier in the year but wanted to know when it officially happened so she could monitor the noise. She explained: “Our business is dependent on not having hammer sounds when we’re trying to do a relaxing facial.”

The businesswoman said the supermarket chain has been very helpful throughout the refurbishment process and she accepted that the council’s failure to tell her of the plans was just an oversight.

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Suzie felt that the introduction of a new shop was a positive: “You have to accept that mistakes are going to happen. The worse thing would have been for it [the premises] to be empty.

“The last thing we need is more empty shops in St Albans, especially next to my shop. Morrisons is a good thing for London Road.”

In response, Simon Rowberry, interim head of planning and building control at the council, said: “We are grateful to Suzie Vincent for letting us know that she has not received a letter from us.

“We will be sending out formal notification to her shortly of the current applications. Any comments she has made will be taken into consideration before a decision is made.”

Morrisons was unavailable for comment.