Uncertain future for St Albans' former police station
PUBLISHED: 07:30 29 February 2016 | UPDATED: 07:32 29 February 2016
The future use of the city's vacant, former police station in a prime site at the centre of St Albans' business hub is still undecided, the Herts Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) has admitted.
David Lloyd has been examining whether the Victoria Street plot could be redeveloped for a mix of retail, commercial and residential use.
St Albans district council has been sharing its headquarters in the civic centre with the local force since April last year.
But ever since St Albans police shifted to the council’s offices, questions have been raised within the community about plans for the vacant building, on a large, prominent site.
The PCC told the Herts Advertiser that Herts Police was working with the council on plans to re-develop the land, and there were hopes the site could bring in future, ongoing income for the force.
He said: “Clearly it won’t stay as it is. It will be part of the civic centre’s re-development, which we are planning with [council executive leader] Cllr Julian Daly and the district council.
“The site could be used for so many different things. I don’t know if it will be a block of flats, but I want to get the best possible value for the district and the police.”
David said the force was ‘likely’ to have a joint venture with the council for the site’s re-development, adding, “I have already agreed to work alongside other public sector partners.
“It could be a mixture of retail and housing.
“But no one has drawn up any plans for that, so there is no news on that.
“I have had several meetings with Julian Daly, and our estate officers at the police have been talking to the council.”
The PCC went on: “It’s greatest value is what it will do for residents of St Albans. It’s a sensitive site, so we have to make sure we get the best possible value - and that isn’t necessarily the most amount of money.
“We will try to get future income, and the centre of St Albans needs a development which can bring in additional residential, more retail and more commercial space.
“That site could offer all three. And it could also bring in income for the police in future, which gives us something to work on.
“That means I’m not going to sell and just get rid of it.”