Minutes of 28th APRA Committee Meeting, 21 May 2019

Abbey Precincts Residents Association
Minutes of 28th APRA Committee Meeting, 21 May 2019, 8.00 pm, 13 College Street

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

2. Minutes of the last committee meeting were approved.

3. Points arising:

  • A few replies had been received on waste collection. The main issue was with Veolia collections from flats. There was also adverse comment on recycling boxes left on pavements all week. It was decided to include the SADC letter in this year’s Newsletter.
  • Sandy Walkington had replied with a full explanation of funding problems for Conservation Area pavement and lamppost refurbishment: the work was skilled and expensive but had to be done properly. NB – subsequently we learned that there may be sufficient funds to provide some extra work this year after all. Our ideas are being put to HCC officers for assessment. We should also remind them that the STOP signs on the street at the College Street/Lower Dagnall Street junction need repainting.
  • RP updated committee on the private initiative on St Albans School bus safety in the area which we supported in principle – this would undoubtedly come up at a school-community meeting on 2 July – we hoped for a co-operative approach and GD would attend for APRA.

. 4. Planning:

  • APRA objection to an open annual licence for Brand Events (Pub in the Park) had been dismissed by SADC Licensing on the grounds that concern about the problems with car parking did not constitute a genuine Public Safety or Public Nuisance issue. This shows the futility of objecting to any licence application before it has been allowed to go ahead. We should write again to our Councillors (NB – Cllr Chris Davies has now called a meeting to discuss events in the Park)
  • The planning cases involving Bowes Lyon Mews (appeal), 1 Mount Pleasant (legal challenge) and Heritage Close shop fronts were all still unresolved. The owner of 43-45 Verulam Road (‘The Brickyard’) has submitted a retrospective application for works already completed without planning permission.
  • A new SADC Enforcement Task & Finish Group has been set up and will hear representations – we expect APRA to be called.

5. Trees:

  • Minutes of the 20 March CNC meeting had not yet been published
  • RP was a member of the Civic Society group drawing up a Tree Charter for St Albans

6. Summer Social Event

  • An invitation to members had been sent for the Midsummer drinks evening at Parkside House on 21 June and it was hoped that this would be as successful as on previous occasions [NJ].

7. Membership:

  • Membership remained at about 70 paid-up members for the current year.

8. The website was now fully secure at an additional annual cost of £70.

9. Conservation 50: plans progressing well for the events organised in conjunction with the Civic Society and ARA. These would begin with a Conservation Exhibition in the new Museum+Gallery on Saturday 25 May [GD].

10. AOB: Two major funding initiatives in which we should express an interest had been announced.

  • As part of the government attempt to resurrect city High Streets, Historic England were open to bids from those in Conservation Areas Hill from groups representing residents, businesses and local authorities. This will probably be led by the Civic Society and St Albans BID. One idea might be to tidy up all the straggling telephone and power cables in St Peters Street.
  •  A comparable fund for urban tree planting was being administered by the Woodland Trust. We could also hope to contribute ideas to any bid from St Albans.
  • RP again undertook to draft a summer Newsletter but was currently over-committed.

11. Next meeting: Tuesday 21 August

The meeting closed at 10 pm