Often referred to as the ‘City’s Watchdogs’, the Civic Society is the conservation and amenity movement for St Albans. We are a member of the national organisation ‘Civic Voice‘.
Founded in 1961 and part of the nationwide civic society movement, we are a registered charity, number 200330, and a non political organisation, ready to welcome everyone who cares about the future of St Albans.
So, do join us, maybe to offer to help, or maybe just to show you support our aims. We offer, above all, a chance to be involved and have a say in what our city looks like and how it functions.
Download our latest newsletter (Autumn 2019)
Hear us on Radio Verulam
City Centre ‘Lost Opportunity Site’?
Seven depressed and depressing acres are up for redevelopment and the Council brands it ‘Civic Centre Opportunity Site South’ (CCOSS). The big question is whether the quality of what is proposed is acceptable, given that these buildings will occupy a key site – in all likelihood for hundreds of years to come.
The application for planning permission has now been made. The Council as planning authority will soon be deciding whether to grant permission to the Council as developer. We all have until Friday 4 October – just three weeks – to make our views known. This is a narrow window in which to debate this development which will have a huge impact on the city centre.
The Society and others have sought to have some limited influence in the design process but even that influence has proved minimal to date. This is now the last chance to approve, modify or oppose these plans.
A meeting of members will be held shortly and members will be emailed with details. There will be a brief presentation on the development plans with input from design and planning specialists who can explain the application process. Take a look at the plans now at this link or go to the planning pages of the Council’s website and use reference 5/2019/2001. For a look at the ‘artist’s impressions’ click here.
The Society was pleased to have been engaged in the process of developing the CCOSS scheme and our pre-application CCOSS comments are available here. Does the current application take account of the input obtained from the Society and individuals who participated in the “Community Design Review” at the start of the year? Let us know what you think.
Civic Voice speaks out to stop inappropriate upward extensions without permission
Civic Voice – the national charity for the civic movement with 75,000 members – has submitted a consultation response urging the Government to think harder about the plans it has to allow developers to change buildings on our high streets without requiring full planning permission. The proposals, introduced in the consultation ‘Planning Reform – Supporting the high street and increasing the delivery of new homes’ proposes to allow additional storeys to be built above certain commercial or residential buildings, up to a maximum of 5 storeys. You can read more here.
Local Plan Consultation
The Society has responded to the St Albans District Council Local Plan consultation concerning the future development of the City from 2020 to 2036. In our response we recognise the importance of a new Local Plan (LP) which is needed, in order to update the previous LP, drafted in 1994. This is, not only to ensure that the authority’s LP is compatible with latest edition of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), published in July 2018, but also that the District Council will not have to relinquish its control, over planning in the district, to Government, because there has been a failure to produce an approved, up-to-date Plan. You can read our full response here.
Luton Airport Consultation
The Society has submitted an objection the expansion of Luton Airport and you can read the response here.
Explore the fascinating heritage on your doorstep during Britain’s largest heritage event! Most attractions are FREE during Heritage Open Days.
The Heritage Open Days brochure gives details of the walks, tours and attractions on offer in and around St Albans during this period.
Book now/reserve a place by email to email@example.com or tel: 01727 843389
or write to Brian Holmes, 16 Trevelyan Place, St Albans AL1 2DT.
Cheques for £35 to ‘St Albans Civic Society’
Having reviewed more than 50 development projects completed in the calendar year 2018 the Society gave its highest Award to the renovated Town Hall, and the Trevelyan Prize for the most outstanding conservation project to a 1930’s Art Deco house in Marshalswick. Seven other projects were commended, including a remarkable make-over of a terraced house in Bernard Street. Certificates and plaques were presented by Cllr Janet Smith, Mayor of the City and District of St Albans.
This years awards presentation took place on 24th July at Kingsbury Barn, St Michaels. For its Awards, the Society looks for projects that contribute to the preservation and enhancement of the character of St Albans, and achieve the highest standards of architecture, planning, landscaping and civic design.
Previous years winners can be seen here.