Third time lucky for Harpenden day centre re-development?

NEIGHBOURS of a derelict former day centre are hoping that a new planning application to develop it will be successful at the third attempt.

The application to redevelop James Marshall House in Leyton Road, Harpenden, which is next door to the newly-named Harpenden Seniors Club, has been submitted to St Albans council.

The plan is to build 14 flats and a replacement day care centre for the Harpenden Seniors Club which has seen its membership drop in recent years because of the uncertainty about the adjoining development.

James Marshall House was vacated in 2001 and has since become derelict and vandalised.

A fire in 2008 caused considerable damage to the building and it now has to be guarded 24 hours a day to prevent any further damage.

The last application from Oakbridge Homes and the county council for 14 two-bedroom flats and a self-contained office was refused by district council planners in March this year as too large and out of keeping with its surroundings.

The Harpenden Seniors Club, which was set up in 1976 and has been run entirely by volunteers since it opened, is particularly keen to see the issue of planning permission resolved so that it gets the new building it has been promised.

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Ken Jenkins, chairman of the club, said: “The planning application is now in and we are hoping it will be third time lucky.”