25th APRA Committee Meeting, 26 October 2018

Abbey Precincts Residents Association
Minutes of 25th APRA Committee Meeting, 26 October 2018, 8.00 pm, 13 College Street


1. Present: Peter Trevelyan (Chair), Robert Pankhurst, Andrew Yaras, Norman James, Kate Buckley, Justin Douglas. Apologies: Geoff Dyson, Sally Hickman

2. Robert started the meeting, Peter having indicated that he would be late. As Justin wanted to leave early we began by considering Membership, now at a healthy 150. Justin would follow up next month’s AGM by contacting members for unpaid 2018/2019 subscriptions (NB he was now having problems mailing to btinternet addresses, but Robert was again able to do so as Secretary). A member had moved to Portland Street, still within the APRA area. No requests had come from the old Verulam Road RA after their Secretary had left St Albans. It was decided to leaflet part of Verulam Road, Portland Street and Hill Street with invitations to the AGM – Peter, now present, would print, Kate and Robert would organise delivery next week.

3. Minutes of the last committee meeting were approved.

4. Points arising:

  • Jane Parker, SADC Waste Management, had agreed to talk on waste and recycling at the AGM which would hopefully cover Conservation Area policy and be followed by Q&A [RP, KB]
  • Kate suggested that her rough draft of a window sticker for members could be more professionally drafted and would forward it to Robert. Peter argued that we should produce this in time for handing out at the AGM. [KB, RP]
  • The Waxhouse Gate information plaque with Norman’s text had been agreed to by the owner and was now being taken on by the Civic Society as part of a more widespread scheme, in part triggered by the 50th anniversary of the Conservation Area. We could offer £50 towards the cost [NJ]
  • The Cathedral had organised repairs to the Abbey Orchard boundary wall where damaged (a) by the falling tree bough and (b) by reversing traffic, but other sections were still in a dire state.
  • There is no further news on the planned resurfacing of College Place. Work on the garage site seems to have stalled over a contaminated land issue. [KB].
  • Geoff should raise the state of pavements with Sandy Walkington as soon as possible [GD].

5. Planning, Licensing, Enforcement

  • Conversion of an integral garage to a living room in Bowes Lyon Mews had been refused by SADC Planning Committee: objections including APRA’s having been presented by Clive Blackman (Chair, BLMRA).
  • Licensing Sub-committee had allowed restricted alcohol licensing hours for The Canteen, 3 George Street to 6.30 pm
  • APRA and individual members had submitted objections to the 1Life application for Variation to the Premises Licence for Verulamium Park to allow the sale of alcohol at events from 10 am to 11 pm Thursday-Saturday incl., 10 am to 10 pm Sunday -Monday. Peter & Robert had attended meetings with 1Life where it was clear that this application was key to the Christmas Festival being planned by Meraki/1Life/SADC for 3 weeks in December and might be amended to restrict it to the location and dates of that event for this year only.
  • There was also a Planning application from Meraki for the Christmas Festival, with a deadline for comments of 7 November. We should draft an objection in principle to the precedent set by this effective change of use of Green Belt parkland for large-scale entertainment events.

6. A new initiative to exclude large buses from the narrow streets of the Conservation Area, with particular reference to those used for transport of St Albans School pupils, was being contemplated on the basis of road and pedestrian safety. We were in touch with the instigator and in general support, but atmospheric pollution and noise disturbance might be aspects that should be pressed.

7. Conservation 50. Plans were now being firmed up for a one-day event on 6 July 2018, with a steering committee consisting of Civic Society, APRA and ARA members. A photographic exhibition in the New Museum and Gallery was also envisaged. We had agreed to a donation of £100 as seed money [RP, AY].

8. Kate had arranged a meeting with Rich Wilson (Facebook manager for Fishpool Street RA) to gather information on what would be necessary for APRA to join Facebook and operate such an account if members at the AGM were in favour [KB, RP, AY].

9. AGM will be on 27 November at 7.30 for 8.00pm at Spicer Street Church hall as in previous years. Efforts should be made to encourage volunteers to serve on the committee as we would be down to 7 when Sally retired at the AGM.

10. AOB. Kate suggested that we should try to get some lampposts repainted for the Conservation 50 celebrations [RP].

The meeting closed at 10.15 pm