£26 million vision for St Albans

Posted: 15th December 2008, 10:06am

Antringham Verulamium has submitted their applications for detailed planning permission and conservation area consent for development of a £26,000,000 scheme centered on the site of Hertfordshire House, adjoining Bricket Road in St Albans city centre.

The mixed-use plans include a new 87-bedroom Travelodge hotel, 12,600 sq ft of office space, 46 residential apartments, as well as leisure and retail opportunities.

Antringham Verulamium purchased the five-storey, 1960’s building from Hertfordshire County Council in 2007 situated on a half-acre site including the car park area.

Tim Blairs, Director of Antringham Verulamium, who are working in a Joint Venture with Royal Bank of Scotland said,

“This scheme is pivotal to the regeneration of St Albans Civic Centre South Site which is vital to the city as a whole. Our applications are the catalyst to essential improvements in St Albans where there has been a dearth of good, new development over the last decade. We are passionate about the city and have consulted extensively with local stakeholders and interested parties for the last two years, ever mindful of local scale and massing sensitivities with regards to the design.  We have been aware of other schemes that could come forward subject to this development and have given the council our own master plan vision of how we believe this development could facilitate improved pedestrian access in the area and help bring the city together in a more cohesive way. We would welcome the money we pay for Section 106 issues being used in an imaginative way to ensure much needed public realm regeneration and future investment happens. We believe our plans dovetail into the council’s City Vision, the consultation strategy which will help define St Albans’ development master plan over the next 20 years.”

Antringham Verulamium has already identified potential tenants for the proposed office space. 

“Our application for the office space has been tailored to satisfy the needs of other occupiers in the vicinity which could free up the remainder of the CCS site for further development and investment within St Albans.”  Added Blairs.

Joel Baiilie-Lane, Chief Executive of ‘Town Hall’ (St Albans Arts Centre) and who also runs a local Architecture and Project Management company said,

“Whilst there will always be detractors to the details of any new development I feel that this landmark building will kick-start the regeneration of a part of St Albans that so desperately needs re-development. If it starts the process of giving St Albans quality urban space, town centre hotel accommodation and retail space to encourage people to visit our wonderful historic city, so we all benefit, then it has to be welcomed. St Albans urgently needs to move forwards in these respects.”

Tony o’Brien, UK Property Director at Travelodge, said:

“We are less than four years from the Olympics and St Albans has less than 100 beds to offer. The city will miss an enormous economic opportunity if it cannot offer tourists somewhere to stay in the future and not just in terms of the games themselves. The hotel would effectively double the available number of hotel rooms in St Albans and this is something we know local people are keen to see.”

Antringham Verulamium is in the process of setting a date in the near future for a public consultation where a model of the proposed development will be available at the town hall for people to pass their comments on the proposals.

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If approved work on the development could commence in the summer of 2009.

For further details contact Barques Design Limited on 0121 233 2080.

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