Minutes of the meeting on 30 April 2024


The Residents’ Association for Sopwell Lane, Albert Street, Pageant Road, Hart Road,
The Ryder Seed Mews Estate, Saracens Head Yard, Pearce’s Walk and Keyfield Terrace



Notes of SAPHRA meeting held on Tuesday 30 April 2024 at 8pm
at the White Hart Hotel, Holywell Hill, St Albans


Present:    Officials:  Chair, Vice Chair, Treasurer, Minutes Secretary


Plus:         Cllrs Jacqui Taylor, Juliet Voisey
1 resident of Sopwell Lane,
2 residents of Albert Street
1 resident of Pageant Road,

Apologies for absence: Cllr Chris White, 3 residents


The main subjects discussed at the meeting were:


  1. Briefing by local neighbourhood Police Officer:
    Charlie, from the Neighbourhood Policing Team for Clarence Ward and the town centre, came to discuss any issues or concerns that members of SAPHRA might have.  Below is a link to the Hertfordshire Police Website for more information and contact details:


    You can also sign up for Herts Connected (which has replaced the Online Watch Link system) to receive regular updates from Herts Police and Neighbourhood Watch. The link is below:


  1. Finances and banking arrangements:
    Our current balance with Metro Bank is £487.83 (this includes the annual grant of £100 that we received from St Albans District Council in March 2024).
  2. Update on parking and pinch point in Sopwell Lane:
    Cllr Jacqui Taylor reported that jury service and illness had delayed the preparation of a proposal for changing the arrangements for parking Zones M and N, and that a lack of money still precludes hiring more people to fill the gaps. There is a backlog of unresolved parking issues across St Albans. We will continue to press for a solution to these long-outstanding issues.


  1. Update on Central Combined Resident’s Associations:       
    The two main subjects being discussed at present are:
    Solar Panels in Article 4 areas: there are on-going working party meetings to create planning guidelines which it is intended will be posted on the council website.
    Travel & Movement Group: have been working with HCC and SADC to draw up long term plans for travel around St Albans to help alleviate traffic congestion.









Continues on next page…



  1. Update on City Neighbourhoods Committee (CNC):
    Resident Association Members of The City Neighbourhoods Committee had an informal meeting with Cllr Chris White, some Councillors and several officers on 25 April 2024.
    The topics discussed were:
    - The need for better consultation with Residents Associations when planning for CNC meetings.
    - Update on parking – issues with paying for parking online.
    - Planning applications – the impact of the Secretary of State’s decision to allow “non-major” planning applications in St Albans to be submitted to Planning Inspectors rather than being decided locally.
    - Planning enforcement with reference to unauthorised fencing around green spaces on the Verulam Estate.
    - An update on progress with the draft Local Plan.
    - The increasing use of the Abbey Orchard in support of graduation ceremonies held in the Cathedral. The view of most people is that the Graduation Ceremonies are a good thing, but more care needs to be taken to avoid damage to the Abbey Orchard and the ancient monuments and listed buildings in the vicinity.


  1. The green oasis in Sopwell Lane:    
    Cathy thanked Cllr Juliet Voisey for donating a large bag of grass seed to SAPHRA for the green oasis, and thanked the volunteers who came along to the gardening day on 30 March to sow the grass seed. With the help of all the subsequent rain the new grass appears to have taken well. The recently planted Field Maple tree has not put forward any new growth and we will continue to keep a close eye on it. Wooden posts are due to be installed on the site once a decision has been reached about quantity and design. It was agreed that we only need about 4 posts to act as a deterrent to vehicles. SAPHRA applied for funds from the CNC budget to cover the cost of the purchasing and erection of two information boards on the site and are still awaiting confirmation of funding.
    Cllr Juliet Voisey spoke about the Great Big Green Week which is UK’s biggest celebration of climate change action. Cllr Voisey agreed to arrange an event at the oasis over the weekend of 15 & 16 June 2024. A bioblitz will be organised to find and identify as many species of plants, animals, fungi, and other organisms as possible.


  1. Next meeting:

Our next meeting will be held on Tuesday 2 July 2024 at 8pm in the first-floor meeting room (Resident’s Lounge) in The White Hart Hotel, 23-25 Holywell Hill.


  1. Any Other Business:
  • Lights always on in car park:
    The issue of powerful floodlights above the charging point in the London Road Car Park (near Hart Road) being left on 24 hours every day has now been rectified. A power surge had un-set the time clock, but now the timings have been reset. SAPHRA was thanked for highlighting the problem.
  • Ryder Seed Hall:
    An application was made on 12th April for listed building consent to carry out repairs to the glazed roof and cupola, render and windows, together with the removal of signage and erection of gas meter housing and other ancillary works. Once the new tennant for the building is known Blue Plaques St Albans hope to put up a commemorative plaque to Samuel Ryder.




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