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Old Town Hall
A blue plaque for John Ball will be unveiled on the Old Town Hall shortly. John Ball was an English priest who took a prominent part in the Peasants’ Revolt of 1381. Some believe that he was born in St Albans, although others suggest Colchester. His trial following the revolt was held in the Moot Hall in St Albans, which was demolished in 1572 and much later replaced by the present Town Hall building (1829-1832).
61-65 St Peter’s Street
February 2021 : an appeal by Gatsby Retail Ltd against the Council’s refusal of planning permission for: Demolition of existing buildings and provision of three retail units (Class A1) at ground floor level and twenty residential dwellings above, associated access, landscaping and related works on ref no: 5/2019/3099.
January 2021:Planning Application 5/2020/2142 Demolition of existing buildings and provision of three retail units at ground floor level and 18 residential dwellings above, associated access, landscaping and related works (resubmission following refusal of 5/2019/3099).
We OBJECT to this application:
- We are not opposed to the redevelopment of this site for the proposed uses but, as championed by the Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission’s report Living with Beauty, façade quality really matters for high streets to thrive, and this scheme fails to meet the bar set by the Commission.
- This application does not create the quality architecture which this part of the conservation area and prominent part of the city’s principal boulevard demands.
- The proposed development, by reason of its height, bulk, massing, design and use of materials still represents a visually dominant and incongruous form of development that would be harmful to the character and appearance of the street scene and conservation area.
- The top storey of the front block, despite being set back, will appear prominent from along and opposite St Peter’s Street and its industrial metal-clad box form will appear incongruous in the street scene.
- Like Historic England, we still have concerns relating to the height of the proposal and consider that this could be reduced to lessen the impact of the scheme.
- Despite the additional vertical brick detailing on the front elevation to St Peter’s Street hinting at the three separate building plots, with its uniform brick choice and undifferentiated parapet and roof the frontage still reads as a single horizontal slab.
- The fenestration to the front block, in particular to the side return frontage with its two incompatible styles, is incoherent.
Three new residential developments – the Market depot, Club Veeda, and the Poundland/world properties, which back onto Drovers Way. If this was being done in any collective way, then this is probably the equivalent of the creation of a small housing estate, in terms of occupancy, number of new residents and the creation of new properties. Taking the three together, it’s a big change. The Market depot development is being proposed as a four storey one, which could create a very different aesthetic. There is a creeping escalation of building height now on Drovers Way, what with the Butler’s Yard flats, and the new hotel.