Thumbs down for scheme to transform key St Albans site

ST ALBANS: A developer’s plans to transform a run-down city-centre site has been met with a big thumbs down from planners for the third time.

Antringham Verulamium in partnership with Travelodge has been trying to secure planning permission to demolish the existing Herts House site in Bricket Road, St Albans, to make way for an 87-bedroom budget hotel, 46 residential apartments, leisure and retail facilities as well as 12,600 sq ft of office space which could house the police when they vacate their current station in Victoria Street.

But the third planning application submitted in the summer, which attempted to address councillors’ concerns, has failed to impress planning officers who have recommended refusal of the scheme ahead of a St Albans planning referrals committee next week.

Citing 11 reasons for refusal, the officers concluded that the application would result in a cramped form of development which would fail to preserve or enhance the character and appearance of the conservation area, as well as arguing it would prejudice the development of the remainder of the dilapidated area which is known as Civic Centre South.