Tesco property arm reveals St Albans homes plans

PUBLIC consultation over plans to create 100 homes in a dilapidated area of St Albans will take place next month.

As revealed exclusively in the Herts Advertiser in March, developers are looking to rejuvenate the former Evershed site and the area around London Road, redeveloping commercial properties, restoring residential and commercial properties and creating a unique garden square similar to those seen in areas like Kensington in London.

Spen Hill Developments, the property developer arm of Tesco, are behind the London Road Project and are keen to begin the public consultation which will take place on May 20 and 21.

Plans to demolish the central site north of London Road have been submitted to the district council and if accepted, it will enable the developers to create an off-road construction site to improve the existing properties on London Road as well as those on Inkerman Road. Once those are completed, construction would begin on the central area. Plans show that the developers would look to build four terraces of town houses around a garden square, which would utilise the space and create another green area for St Albans.

The former Odeon car park would, say the developers, be transformed with an archway creating a welcoming entrance.

The homes would provide a proportion of affordable housing and developers say the materials and the appearance would be in keeping with the character of St Albans and capture the effective use of space that is so prevalent throughout the city.

Images of the plans for the town houses have been released exclusively to this newspaper and show how the developers might look to utilise space by incorporating underground parking for the homes. The plans also show the amount of space which would be available for the garden square.

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Cllr Chris Brazier, the district council’s planning portfolio holder, and Cllr David Poor, housing portfolio holder, both welcomed the plans after initial discussions with the developers but admitted there was a distance to go before anything could be guaranteed, a situation that the developers are all too aware of.

Steven Walker, managing director of Collinson Hall – one of the appointed team of property experts dealing with the site – said: “The development team have had some constructive initial conversations with council officers and council members from which we are encouraged to believe a high quality ‘garden square’ scheme along the lines of that which has been proposed will be well received.

“However, we realise that there is still a long way to go and some potentially difficult issues to tackle. We would be foolish to prejudge their outcome before the appropriate technical reports have been prepared and the relevant authorities have had the opportunity to comment and provide feedback.”

Throughout the work, the developers are urging residents and any interested parties to visit their website to keep up to date with any news at www.thelondonroadproject.co.uk The website will also provide details about the public consultation which will be at the Trinity Church corner of Beaconsfield Road and Victoria Street in May.

The development team said that subject to feedback they anticipated a full planning application to be submitted sometime in July.