London Road shop owner accuses St Albans council of perpetuating safety issue

PUBLISHED: 13:41 16 March 2018

Suzie Vincent outside Ginger Natural Health on London Road with the development behind her and the entrance to the Maltings loading bay in the far right-hand corner.

Suzie Vincent outside Ginger Natural Health on London Road with the development behind her and the entrance to the Maltings loading bay in the far right-hand corner.


A shop owner has accused St Albans council of risking public safety by making builders put their skip on a main road.

The sign blocking the pavement for the development on London Road.The sign blocking the pavement for the development on London Road.

Suzie Vincent of Ginger Natural Health on London Road says she was not consulted about plans to build two offices and shops next door to her at the former site of Morrisons and Blockbusters.

She says the council has admitted this, but added the green notices posted near to the building were adequate notice.

Suzie said: “It’s a massive development that is going to have an impact on life in the area. People in the area were not adequately consulted, or certainly not me.”

On top of the lack of consultation, the council wanted a risk assessment for the builders to put a skip in the car park at the rear of the property.

The builders did not supply one so the skip is instead going to be placed on London Road.

Suzie said: “What logic can there be in not allowing this? It is surely better for public safety, better for business, not only in London Road but The Maltings and beyond, better for traffic and pedestrian flow and it is the preferred option for the builders and developer.

“There is now a public safety and nuisance issue which seems to be being perpetuated by the council rather than calmed. I fail to see just who this decision is in favour of.”

St Albans council said: “We use a number of ways to draw people’s attention to new planning applications, including letters, notices outside and in the local paper. In this instance, a planning notice was posted outside the building for everyone to see.

“It is a developer’s responsibility to make arrangements to dispose of any building waste safely in line with the commercial waste rules. When a developer approaches us to use a council car park for the location of a skip, we normally invite them to submit a formal application, along with a risk assessment and method statement setting out their proposals to safely transport building waste to the skip through a public car park.

“On this occasion, we considered the use of the car park for this type of work was not suitable for safety reasons. The developer made arrangements with Hertfordshire County Council for a hoarding licence and removal of the waste over highway land. This resulted in the parking bays in front of the property being suspended for the duration of the works.”

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I should probably have taken the hint! Walking out into the garden recently an unprecedented flock of thirty or more crows raucously greeted me from the treetops at the bottom of my garden. Cawing and croaking these big, black birds clung clumsily to the top most branches and twigs, jostling and flapping to stay balanced in a constant flurry of feathers. There is always something ominous about crows – they are after all carrion crows, the vultures of the bird world – always watching for scraps and weakness that might mean their next meal.

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