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 Spring 2020
We have cancelled all our meetings and events until further notice. Talks will be rearranged later in the year.
City Centre Opportunity Site South (CCOSS)
Three new designs for this major development were put forward by different architectural firms and the Council asked residents being to help select the best scheme. The public meeting on 25th March, when the three architectural practices would present their designs for Civic Centre Opportunity South, was cancelled with the presentations made available on the web and the public invited to ask questions. The Consultation Question Responses are available here. The Civic Society’s Design Advisory Group (DAG) discussed all three options and had circumstances been different, this would have been presented at meeting open to members and the general public. However, because that could not happen DAG produced a brief summary here of their views as a way of informing membership of their thinking. The Council announced their decision on 21st April choosing design number 2 from the three options proposed, you can read their press release here. For more information on the results of the public vote and the assessment process click here where you can also find details of the three schemes.
What else have we been doing?
A quick update on some of the areas where the Society has been active over the last few weeks.
- Waxhouse Gate and Sumpter Yard: liaising with the Council and property owner concerning state of the paving and piles of rubbish behind the apartments
- Vintry Gardens and Verdun Tree: meeting with Council to discuss state the mud path that has been created in the Gardens and the collapse of the flimsy screen behind the Tree
- Blue Plaques: new initiative with support from other organisations to have determine critera to nominate for plaques and once agreed have plaques installed, click here for more details.
- Radio Verulam: regular interviews each month, to listen to previous ones click here
- Local Plan Examination: Society represented and would have participated if Inspectors had not postponed the next stage
- Planning applications, every month we comment on a few applications, here are two recent ones : 17 Heritage Close, object to change of use which will lead to increase in noise and disturbance arising from the intensification of use of the premises and garden, and from patrons accessing and leaving the premises via Heritage Close and Waxhouse Gate will impact adversely on residential amenity. Smallford Works, object to redevelopment of the site to provide up to 100 residential units as speculative proposal for inappropriate development in the green belt. Under the National Planning Policy Framework green belt boundaries are only to be altered in exceptional circumstances, and then only through the local plan review process.
All events are postponed until later in the year. Please check here for updates.
There are no upcoming events.
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 2019 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.