Work finally underway on major St Albans redevelopment scheme

Spen Hill's Mark Witham, Higgins Construction project director Alan Vaux, Cllr Alun Davies, DLA Town

Spen Hill's Mark Witham, Higgins Construction project director Alan Vaux, Cllr Alun Davies, DLA Town Planning David Lane and director of Higgins Construction Paul Cooke at the London Road site as work commences - Credit: Archant

The long-awaited transformation of a derelict city centre site, which will see the construction of 80 new homes, is now underway.

Spen Hill Developments – whic is behind the much-anticipated London Road project - has fired the starting gun on the scheme that will see the former Eversheds site converted into housing.

The work, being led by Higgins Construction, has now started.

Mark Witham, of Spen Hill Developments, said: “We’re very excited that Higgins is now on site and making a start on this important development.

“St Albans is a city that is really going places, particularly in this location with all the improvements coming forward to London Road.

“We’re delighted to play our part in its resurgence.”

St Peters ward councillor Alun Davies, who met with project leaders on Tuesday (March 17), said: “I am very pleased that work has started as the land has been empty for such a long time and the development is on brownfield land which is ideally what we want.

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“My involvement is to try and minimise the impact on local residents and businesses and so far so good, they haven’t reported any issues.

“There is a momentum there because of a number of new businesses which we do not want to be impacted.”

The development has had a chequered history, having initially been earmarked for a new Tesco superstore, which prompted huge local opposition.

The developers’ initial proposal for housing was also rejected as it did not meet the council’s affordable housing quota of 35 per cent but was eventually given the thumbs up in February 2013, despite some district councillors still raising concerns.

The project also came under scrutiny for the height of some of the properties, the use of balconies and roof gardens potentially intruding on neighbours in Inkerman and Alma Roads, though developers modified their inital designs.