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Redevelopment of run-down depot will create more social housing

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New much-needed social housing could be created in St Albans City Centre with the redevelopment of the Charter Market depot.

The depot, in Drover’s Way, currently consists of storage space that is open to the elements and a dilapidated workshop.

A study by owners St Albans City and District Council has shown it would be financially viable to regenerate the site with a modern four-storey building.

This would include commercial space on the ground floor for a market office and market equipment storage.

The other three floors would contain nine flats for social rent and 15 flats for rent at market rate to help pay for the project.

The redevelopment of the run-down site would also greatly enhance the look of a City Centre area where some other buildings have been improved recently.

Details of the scheme were given to a meeting of the Council’s Cabinet – its decision-making body – on Thursday 28 January.

Cabinet approved the redevelopment with the next step being the appointment of a construction contractor.

The move coincides with a revamp of the twice-weekly historic Charter Market which will be going to consultation shortly.

Councillor Robert Donald, Portfolio Holder for Commercial, Development and Wellbeing, said:

The exciting project to redevelop the depot site has the potential to provide much-needed new housing and regenerate another part of Drovers Way to make this a much more attractive area in the very heart of our City.

One of our top priorities as an administration is to provide more social rented housing for those on lower incomes. This project will provide a useful number of flats at social rent levels to help people we need to retain locally to keep our local economy, essential services and community running but who can’t afford high private sector rents.

The project is also intended to bring further improvement to an area of the City which has been neglected for too long. It will complement and add to the recent nearby redevelopments which have already enhanced the street scene.

While we have been concentrating on redeveloping the Civic Centre area around the Alban Arena recently, this proposed depot development shows our commitment to making sure other parts of the City are also not forgotten at the same time.

Picture: the market depot.

Councillor contact: Cllr Robert Donald, Portfolio Holder for Commercial, Development and Wellbeing: 841647.

Contact for the media: John McJannet, Principal Communications Officer: 01727 819533,