Plans to demolish the old Verulam Arms pub in St Albans Road for new flats recommended for approval

Watford Observer: Plans to demolish old pub for flats recommended for approval Plans to demolish old pub for flats recommended for approval

Proposals to demolish a disused north Watford pub and build 18 flats in its place have been recommended for approval by planning officials.

Watford Borough Council politicians are due to vote on the plans for the old Verulam Arms pub site in St Albans Road on Thursday.

The application has met opposition from people living nearby who do not want to lose the "landmark" building.

However town planners said the design of the new flats was acceptable and raised no objection to the site being converted for residential use.

In a report to the council’s development control committee, planning officials said: "Although it is located at the northern end of the North Watford Shopping Centre, the proposal will not result in the loss of a retail use and will have no detrimental impact on the existing shopping centre.

"Given the high historic levels of vacancy within the shopping centre, it is not considered appropriate to require a new commercial unit as part of the development."

The application, lodged by O’Connor Utilities Ltd, said the development will comprise of 14 two-bed flats and four one-bed flats, of which six will be affordable.

A report to the committee said the existing car park on the site would be retained to provide 13 spaces for the flats and five of the new homes would be "car free".

The site was originally used as a public air raid shelter during the Second World War before being in-filled in 1954 when the pub was built. In recent years building has been used as restaurant but it currently vacant.

Planning officials said the council had received four letters of objection to the plans. People living near the proposed development opposed the loss of the building saying it was a very well known local landmark.

The council said it was seeking just over £92,000 in contributions from the developers to go towards local schools, libraries, open spaces and a children’s play space.

Comments (25)

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5:49pm Sun 5 Jan 14

Phil Cox (UKIP) says...

amazing what you can buy nowadays for £92,000.
amazing what you can buy nowadays for £92,000. Phil Cox (UKIP)

6:52pm Sun 5 Jan 14

pstannard4 says...

More space taken away to build houses. No wonder why so many people out of work is because working spaces like this can be turned in to flats

What we need is for some offices or shop space like Morrisons local or a traditional English shop to go in, have some staff and that's less people of the job search statistics to make Watford look like a good place to come to work..

We turn offices in to flats then the statics for Watford getting jobs will go up and not down

Message to our elected Mayor. IF YOU WANT US IN WATFORD TO HAVE JOBS, STOP TURNING THEM IN TO HOUSES AND FLATS JUST BECAUSE THEY'LL BETTER THE AREA TO..
More space taken away to build houses. No wonder why so many people out of work is because working spaces like this can be turned in to flats What we need is for some offices or shop space like Morrisons local or a traditional English shop to go in, have some staff and that's less people of the job search statistics to make Watford look like a good place to come to work.. We turn offices in to flats then the statics for Watford getting jobs will go up and not down Message to our elected Mayor. IF YOU WANT US IN WATFORD TO HAVE JOBS, STOP TURNING THEM IN TO HOUSES AND FLATS JUST BECAUSE THEY'LL BETTER THE AREA TO.. pstannard4

6:58pm Sun 5 Jan 14

gusgreen says...

Not MORE bloody flats!
Watford is, no has,busted at the seams. The town just cannot take any more people - mind you that will be more council tax for Dotty to waste!!
Not MORE bloody flats! Watford is, no has,busted at the seams. The town just cannot take any more people - mind you that will be more council tax for Dotty to waste!! gusgreen

7:11pm Sun 5 Jan 14

gazmondo says...

Thay Should Turn It Into One Of Those Wacky Werehouse Type Places,It Be Good For The Area.
Thay Should Turn It Into One Of Those Wacky Werehouse Type Places,It Be Good For The Area. gazmondo

7:15pm Sun 5 Jan 14

Cuetip says...

The problem that many in Watford feel about these high density developments and the attendant rising population pressures, is that residents struggle to see the vision in terms of reducing pressures on eg school places. What guarantees that the £92,000 can possibly raise the quality of the infrastructure in that very congested area.
The problem that many in Watford feel about these high density developments and the attendant rising population pressures, is that residents struggle to see the vision in terms of reducing pressures on eg school places. What guarantees that the £92,000 can possibly raise the quality of the infrastructure in that very congested area. Cuetip

8:12pm Sun 5 Jan 14

crazyfrog says...

Eeejjjjjjbjjb ggh
Eeejjjjjjbjjb ggh crazyfrog

8:15pm Sun 5 Jan 14

crazyfrog says...

Watford generals A+E has been reportedly at breaking point at times and turning people away, and yet still more people are crammed into watford like sardines this madness is getting dangerous now !
Watford generals A+E has been reportedly at breaking point at times and turning people away, and yet still more people are crammed into watford like sardines this madness is getting dangerous now ! crazyfrog

8:20pm Sun 5 Jan 14

watfordkev says...

A shame, as it's one of the few interesting buildings in the town. Yet, it has long been an absolute eyesore with it's tinned window panes, black-painted frames, wires and cables hanging off the brickwork etc. It's a cruel sign of the times that such edifices are white elephants, redundant, obsolete and unviable,

Of course something equally ugly and of even less use than a derelict shell will replace it. However, in Thatcher's / Cameron's / Blair's / Clegg's Britain, that, chums, is the way the cookie is crumbling.

Anyone who dared enter the Verulam - even in its relative pomp - will attest that few angels would dare tread there. Even then, it was worth running the gauntlet, as it was an absolute beacon of live music for some time, particularly in the days when the late Joe Seabrook owned / ran it. The back room was a fabulous intimate venue, graced memorably by the seminal Alternative TV among many others. I believe the Stranglers played there in their prime, when still fronted by Hugh Cornwell.
A shame, as it's one of the few interesting buildings in the town. Yet, it has long been an absolute eyesore with it's tinned window panes, black-painted frames, wires and cables hanging off the brickwork etc. It's a cruel sign of the times that such edifices are white elephants, redundant, obsolete and unviable, Of course something equally ugly and of even less use than a derelict shell will replace it. However, in Thatcher's / Cameron's / Blair's / Clegg's Britain, that, chums, is the way the cookie is crumbling. Anyone who dared enter the Verulam - even in its relative pomp - will attest that few angels would dare tread there. Even then, it was worth running the gauntlet, as it was an absolute beacon of live music for some time, particularly in the days when the late Joe Seabrook owned / ran it. The back room was a fabulous intimate venue, graced memorably by the seminal Alternative TV among many others. I believe the Stranglers played there in their prime, when still fronted by Hugh Cornwell. watfordkev

11:51pm Sun 5 Jan 14

Keefer says...

What makes you think the population local will increase? how do you know local adolescents won't buy the properties. It's about time that decrepit eyesore was refreshed and I'm sure there are a few more old dives that could do with similar treatment.

and that's the closest the map has been to marking the correct location in a while, so it's all good news. :)
What makes you think the population local will increase? how do you know local adolescents won't buy the properties. It's about time that decrepit eyesore was refreshed and I'm sure there are a few more old dives that could do with similar treatment. and that's the closest the map has been to marking the correct location in a while, so it's all good news. :) Keefer

8:42am Mon 6 Jan 14

WFCinexile says...

Parking chaos, only 13 spaces for 18 flats, the most of which are two bedroomed! This is a disgrace if it gets approved. It will be parking chaos.
Parking chaos, only 13 spaces for 18 flats, the most of which are two bedroomed! This is a disgrace if it gets approved. It will be parking chaos. WFCinexile

8:46am Mon 6 Jan 14

eltonsjohn says...

great memories when the stranglers played there - i remember the students at west herts had 'printed' a few extra tickets....
it was rammed to the hilt!!
great gig with jet black particularly superb that night.

great boozer - used to go there every friday when flo was landlady
great memories when the stranglers played there - i remember the students at west herts had 'printed' a few extra tickets.... it was rammed to the hilt!! great gig with jet black particularly superb that night. great boozer - used to go there every friday when flo was landlady eltonsjohn

11:00am Mon 6 Jan 14

miwe2 says...

'Five of the new homes will be car free?' When was the legislation passed that let developers discriminate against car owners? Where was the equality commision when it happened? Or is this just a cynical attempt to justify their actions, or at least give the developers time to get away before the4 trouble starts?
'Five of the new homes will be car free?' When was the legislation passed that let developers discriminate against car owners? Where was the equality commision when it happened? Or is this just a cynical attempt to justify their actions, or at least give the developers time to get away before the4 trouble starts? miwe2

1:11pm Mon 6 Jan 14

Watfordmum says...

How did the developers get away with stating that 5 of the homes will be car free! Who can guarantee that people living there will never buy a car? The parking in North Watford is already disgraceful yet more properties are being squeezed in with no additional parking provided.
How did the developers get away with stating that 5 of the homes will be car free! Who can guarantee that people living there will never buy a car? The parking in North Watford is already disgraceful yet more properties are being squeezed in with no additional parking provided. Watfordmum

2:10pm Mon 6 Jan 14

not a regular says...

It's not discrimination FFS. It's "this property is available but unfortunately it's in an urban area and we can't offer you a parking permit. You don't have to purchase it, so the choice is yours".

Besides, everyone has already said what I first thought.

More people with less space to read, study, eat, listen to music, drink, play sports or go to work, except in the comfort of their rabbit hutch.

God bless the UK.
It's not discrimination FFS. It's "this property is available but unfortunately it's in an urban area and we can't offer you a parking permit. You don't have to purchase it, so the choice is yours". Besides, everyone has already said what I first thought. More people with less space to read, study, eat, listen to music, drink, play sports or go to work, except in the comfort of their rabbit hutch. God bless the UK. not a regular

5:37pm Mon 6 Jan 14

D_Penn says...

Anyone who thinks that the council has any limits in mind for the number of flats and residents that Watford can hold is seriously deluded.

The Liberal Democrat view is that no matter how many people come to Britain, it must be good for the economy. So build as many properties as it takes to hold whatever size the population reaches even if it means stacking families shoulder to shoulder. That is the view of Nick Clegg and the local band are merely following their master's wishes.

Whilst the people of Watford keep voting them in, they'll keep the buildings growing like choking weeds. Still, as long as they pick up 92 grand here and there to build a children's play space it's all tickety-boo in the liberal world - that's if they can even find a space that's not already been built on or grabbed by developers.
Anyone who thinks that the council has any limits in mind for the number of flats and residents that Watford can hold is seriously deluded. The Liberal Democrat view is that no matter how many people come to Britain, it must be good for the economy. So build as many properties as it takes to hold whatever size the population reaches even if it means stacking families shoulder to shoulder. That is the view of Nick Clegg and the local band are merely following their master's wishes. Whilst the people of Watford keep voting them in, they'll keep the buildings growing like choking weeds. Still, as long as they pick up 92 grand here and there to build a children's play space it's all tickety-boo in the liberal world - that's if they can even find a space that's not already been built on or grabbed by developers. D_Penn

5:44pm Mon 6 Jan 14

ED12 says...

When will the mayor accept that Watford is full. We build more flats/housers so we need more jobs and we need more schools etc and we build more flats/houses so the circle goes on and on and on.

Please put the we are full sign up.
When will the mayor accept that Watford is full. We build more flats/housers so we need more jobs and we need more schools etc and we build more flats/houses so the circle goes on and on and on. Please put the we are full sign up. ED12

2:56am Tue 7 Jan 14

Honest Rog says...

"14 two bedroom flats and 4 one bedroom of which 6 will be affordable". So 12 will be unaffordable?
The Verulam was certainly the place to go for quality live music during the late 60s into the 70s. Prior to Joey Seabrook I think the landlord was Fred Stuber who previously managed The Crown at Garston. Joey was also a roadie for that popular beat combo The Rolling Stones. He attracted up and coming (and established) talent prior to his tenure of The Verulam in venues such as Henderson Hall and Hillside Hall in Abbots also Woodside Community Centre in The Brow.
As for the development of 18 flats: If one were to search the area within a 500 metre radius of The Verulam I bet one would find 100 empty properties so what's the fuss?
I see that UKRAP's only input to this issue is a sneering reference to 92k that local communities will benefit from. Says it all dunnit?
"14 two bedroom flats and 4 one bedroom of which 6 will be affordable". So 12 will be unaffordable? The Verulam was certainly the place to go for quality live music during the late 60s into the 70s. Prior to Joey Seabrook I think the landlord was Fred Stuber who previously managed The Crown at Garston. Joey was also a roadie for that popular beat combo The Rolling Stones. He attracted up and coming (and established) talent prior to his tenure of The Verulam in venues such as Henderson Hall and Hillside Hall in Abbots also Woodside Community Centre in The Brow. As for the development of 18 flats: If one were to search the area within a 500 metre radius of The Verulam I bet one would find 100 empty properties so what's the fuss? I see that UKRAP's only input to this issue is a sneering reference to 92k that local communities will benefit from. Says it all dunnit? Honest Rog

7:33pm Tue 7 Jan 14

watfordrick says...

pstannard4 wrote:
More space taken away to build houses. No wonder why so many people out of work is because working spaces like this can be turned in to flats

What we need is for some offices or shop space like Morrisons local or a traditional English shop to go in, have some staff and that's less people of the job search statistics to make Watford look like a good place to come to work..

We turn offices in to flats then the statics for Watford getting jobs will go up and not down

Message to our elected Mayor. IF YOU WANT US IN WATFORD TO HAVE JOBS, STOP TURNING THEM IN TO HOUSES AND FLATS JUST BECAUSE THEY'LL BETTER THE AREA TO..
Morrisons Local - opposite Tesco's? Also what is a traditional English shop? Come on live in the real world - this building was always only ever gonna be flats. At least the building will be used now.
[quote][p][bold]pstannard4[/bold] wrote: More space taken away to build houses. No wonder why so many people out of work is because working spaces like this can be turned in to flats What we need is for some offices or shop space like Morrisons local or a traditional English shop to go in, have some staff and that's less people of the job search statistics to make Watford look like a good place to come to work.. We turn offices in to flats then the statics for Watford getting jobs will go up and not down Message to our elected Mayor. IF YOU WANT US IN WATFORD TO HAVE JOBS, STOP TURNING THEM IN TO HOUSES AND FLATS JUST BECAUSE THEY'LL BETTER THE AREA TO..[/p][/quote]Morrisons Local - opposite Tesco's? Also what is a traditional English shop? Come on live in the real world - this building was always only ever gonna be flats. At least the building will be used now. watfordrick

9:39pm Wed 8 Jan 14

samwatford says...

I would rather have a park for small children or a primary school or nursery than a block of flats. We have so few parks in watford that unless someone lives near cassiobury park , there is hardly any park or open space for walking, running or playing for children and walking the dogs. I always envy south london in which victorian planners always built parks and ponds. The planners today in Watford just love creating choked cardboard houses to help developers without creating any breathing space nearby for residents.
I would rather have a park for small children or a primary school or nursery than a block of flats. We have so few parks in watford that unless someone lives near cassiobury park , there is hardly any park or open space for walking, running or playing for children and walking the dogs. I always envy south london in which victorian planners always built parks and ponds. The planners today in Watford just love creating choked cardboard houses to help developers without creating any breathing space nearby for residents. samwatford

10:05pm Wed 8 Jan 14

Phil Cox (UKIP) says...

Honest Rog wrote:
"14 two bedroom flats and 4 one bedroom of which 6 will be affordable". So 12 will be unaffordable?
The Verulam was certainly the place to go for quality live music during the late 60s into the 70s. Prior to Joey Seabrook I think the landlord was Fred Stuber who previously managed The Crown at Garston. Joey was also a roadie for that popular beat combo The Rolling Stones. He attracted up and coming (and established) talent prior to his tenure of The Verulam in venues such as Henderson Hall and Hillside Hall in Abbots also Woodside Community Centre in The Brow.
As for the development of 18 flats: If one were to search the area within a 500 metre radius of The Verulam I bet one would find 100 empty properties so what's the fuss?
I see that UKRAP's only input to this issue is a sneering reference to 92k that local communities will benefit from. Says it all dunnit?
I try to provoke thought with some of my posts on this site.

Clearly for some people it is not working.
[quote][p][bold]Honest Rog[/bold] wrote: "14 two bedroom flats and 4 one bedroom of which 6 will be affordable". So 12 will be unaffordable? The Verulam was certainly the place to go for quality live music during the late 60s into the 70s. Prior to Joey Seabrook I think the landlord was Fred Stuber who previously managed The Crown at Garston. Joey was also a roadie for that popular beat combo The Rolling Stones. He attracted up and coming (and established) talent prior to his tenure of The Verulam in venues such as Henderson Hall and Hillside Hall in Abbots also Woodside Community Centre in The Brow. As for the development of 18 flats: If one were to search the area within a 500 metre radius of The Verulam I bet one would find 100 empty properties so what's the fuss? I see that UKRAP's only input to this issue is a sneering reference to 92k that local communities will benefit from. Says it all dunnit?[/p][/quote]I try to provoke thought with some of my posts on this site. Clearly for some people it is not working. Phil Cox (UKIP)

1:59pm Thu 9 Jan 14

Nick Lincoln says...

At present the place is an eyesore on one of the main roads into Watford. It would be good to see the land put to better use. I have no idea what the "North Watford Shopping Centre" is supposed to be: there is no "centre" and there are few thriving shops.

So, aside from shops, what else can the site be used for? In this example perhaps housing is a suitable use (although I share other posters concerns about the lack of adequate parking).

If more housing is needed then surely better on brownfield sites such as this, rather than parks and allotments (hello Sarah-Jane Trebar and her tremendous work in trying to save Farm Terrace).

There is (and will continue to be) a massive demand for new housing in this country. I will leave the reader to ponder why. DISCLAIMER: I belong to UKIP and have my own view!

The trouble in Watford is that there has already been so much development over the last 20 years, not all of it by a long shot on brownfield sites. Here are some visuals of Waford's transformation in that time: http://goo.gl/oOTV06 Warning: This is a link to a UKIP Watford page.

I do NOT want this to be a political-back-and-f
orth: the demand for housing in Watford remains intense, for whatever reason you wish to choose. As the photos in the above link attest the town has been a continuous building site for two decades. The "planners" of the 1950s-1970s could not have changed Watford more (and God knows, they did enough damage).

All those new estates and not ONE new secondary school (correct me if I am wrong). Roads that are barely navigable at more than 20 mph because they are continuously traffic laden. "20's Plenty"? It already exists in Watford de facto!
At present the place is an eyesore on one of the main roads into Watford. It would be good to see the land put to better use. I have no idea what the "North Watford Shopping Centre" is supposed to be: there is no "centre" and there are few thriving shops. So, aside from shops, what else can the site be used for? In this example perhaps housing is a suitable use (although I share other posters concerns about the lack of adequate parking). If more housing is needed then surely better on brownfield sites such as this, rather than parks and allotments (hello Sarah-Jane Trebar and her tremendous work in trying to save Farm Terrace). There is (and will continue to be) a massive demand for new housing in this country. I will leave the reader to ponder why. DISCLAIMER: I belong to UKIP and have my own view! The trouble in Watford is that there has already been so much development over the last 20 years, not all of it by a long shot on brownfield sites. Here are some visuals of Waford's transformation in that time: http://goo.gl/oOTV06 Warning: This is a link to a UKIP Watford page. I do NOT want this to be a political-back-and-f orth: the demand for housing in Watford remains intense, for whatever reason you wish to choose. As the photos in the above link attest the town has been a continuous building site for two decades. The "planners" of the 1950s-1970s could not have changed Watford more (and God knows, they did enough damage). All those new estates and not ONE new secondary school (correct me if I am wrong). Roads that are barely navigable at more than 20 mph because they are continuously traffic laden. "20's Plenty"? It already exists in Watford de facto! Nick Lincoln

1:48am Sat 18 Jan 14

MW1234 says...

If the **** Government including local councils (yes, Watford BC, I do mean you) did something about the immigration crisis in this country, WE WOULD NOT NEED MORE HOMES!! The quicker the UK is out of the Eurozone, the better we all will be. Who voted these idiots in anyway?

Instead of allowing get-rich-quick developers ruin local landmarks over and over again, how about stepping back and looking at what you have, a community pub, surely it is better to encourage local businessmen (or women) to re-open it as a pub... bring a community based building back into the community!!!

So, Watford BC, Dotty The Mayor and all you other parasites - stop your **** and listen to local people, WE DO NOT WANT MORE HOMES!!! This town has enough, in fact it has too many already.

No offence to anyone... but it is time the people fought back, stopped our local councils taking this **** out of us. Put it this way, if approval for the flats is given, then surely everyone living nearby should protest, if not you deserve to be trod on by the parasites for the rest of your meaningless lives, because until you get the backbone to stand up to them you don't have the right to your life. STOP THEM, AND DO IT NOW!!!
If the **** Government including local councils (yes, Watford BC, I do mean you) did something about the immigration crisis in this country, WE WOULD NOT NEED MORE HOMES!! The quicker the UK is out of the Eurozone, the better we all will be. Who voted these idiots in anyway? Instead of allowing get-rich-quick developers ruin local landmarks over and over again, how about stepping back and looking at what you have, a community pub, surely it is better to encourage local businessmen (or women) to re-open it as a pub... bring a community based building back into the community!!! So, Watford BC, Dotty The Mayor and all you other parasites - stop your **** and listen to local people, WE DO NOT WANT MORE HOMES!!! This town has enough, in fact it has too many already. No offence to anyone... but it is time the people fought back, stopped our local councils taking this **** out of us. Put it this way, if approval for the flats is given, then surely everyone living nearby should protest, if not you deserve to be trod on by the parasites for the rest of your meaningless lives, because until you get the backbone to stand up to them you don't have the right to your life. STOP THEM, AND DO IT NOW!!! MW1234

1:55am Sat 18 Jan 14

MW1234 says...

Phil Cox (UKIP) wrote:
amazing what you can buy nowadays for £92,000.
Umm, yes it is... your next campaign will cost more, and for what... a few votes and still no influence on the Government!! Give it up!!!
[quote][p][bold]Phil Cox (UKIP)[/bold] wrote: amazing what you can buy nowadays for £92,000.[/p][/quote]Umm, yes it is... your next campaign will cost more, and for what... a few votes and still no influence on the Government!! Give it up!!! MW1234

8:00am Sat 18 Jan 14

Phil Cox (UKIP) says...

MW1234 wrote:
Phil Cox (UKIP) wrote: amazing what you can buy nowadays for £92,000.
Umm, yes it is... your next campaign will cost more, and for what... a few votes and still no influence on the Government!! Give it up!!!
UKIP has no influence on the government?

Really???
[quote][p][bold]MW1234[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Phil Cox (UKIP)[/bold] wrote: amazing what you can buy nowadays for £92,000.[/p][/quote]Umm, yes it is... your next campaign will cost more, and for what... a few votes and still no influence on the Government!! Give it up!!![/p][/quote]UKIP has no influence on the government? Really??? Phil Cox (UKIP)

10:38pm Fri 24 Jan 14

geoffnorfolk says...

Unfortunately, there's not enough "low" price homes in the country and it's up to every town/city to help out the first-time/young person buyers..... I was one once! Is it not likely that the prospective buyers are already living in Watford and just want to get away from the "family home" and start their own life? This land is a complete waste at the moment...... make good use of it.
Unfortunately, there's not enough "low" price homes in the country and it's up to every town/city to help out the first-time/young person buyers..... I was one once! Is it not likely that the prospective buyers are already living in Watford and just want to get away from the "family home" and start their own life? This land is a complete waste at the moment...... make good use of it. geoffnorfolk

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