Founded in 1961 and part of the nation wide civic society movement, we are a registered charity, number 200330, and a non party-political and non religious organisation, ready to welcome everyone who cares about the future of St Albans.
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‘.
Put simply, that means we keep an eye on the City’s heritage, its buildings and the characteristics that make St Albans that special place in which to live, and perhaps work, and the reason why people come and visit.
The Society scrutinises the weekly planning lists, commenting on proposed developments, big and small, across the City centre, its suburbs and Green Belt, that may either enhance or adversely affect the appearance or environment of St Albans. To this end we are represented on local working groups and forums which deal with a wide range of issues affecting St Albans. For example, we were part of the St Albans City Vision Group, we are an active member of the St Albans “Retailer of the Year” award scheme and the St. Peter’s Churchyard Project.
We are an organisation that wants to preserve our heritage, but at the same time encourage quality modern building – and we do mean quality, not anything-will-do pastiche. Our annual Awards Evening is St Albans’ answer to the BAFTAs!
Liaison with St Albans District Council, particularly its Planning Department, is an important activity, as is direct dialogue with Councillors. If necessary we are prepared to confront and campaign to make our point. A notable recent example has been our effort to bring back a cinema to St Albans, which included our own commissioned scheme for the Council’s car park site by an award winning architect. This was a direct response to two high-rise applications which we helped to see off. Another was to help stop a large supermarket being built along London Road that would not only undermine our city centre shops and markets, which are so much part of St Albans life, but seriously impact upon the local neighbourhood adding to the traffic congestion and pollution.
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.