Minutes of the meeting on 02 July 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 2 July 2024 at 8pm
at the White Hart Hotel, Holywell Hill, St Albans


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


Plus:         Cllrs Juliet Voisey, Chris White
1 resident of Albert Street
1 resident of Pageant Road,

Apologies for absence: 5 residents


Roger opened the meeting by congratulating Cllr Chris White on being awarded an OBE for services to local government.


The main subjects discussed at the meeting were:


  1. Finances and banking arrangements:
    Our current balance with Metro Bank remains unchanged at £487.83.
  2. Update on parking and pinch point in Sopwell Lane:
    Roger pointed out that SAPHRA first discussed the issue of the pinch point 6 years ago.
    In 2019 SAPHRA submitted their ideas for parking improvements to St Albans Council but received no response.
    SADC surveyed residents of Zones M & N February 2021 (no results or outcome seen)
    SADC surveyed residents of Zones M & N July 2023 (no results or outcome seen)
    Cllr Juliet Voisey mentioned that she was aware that Cllr Jacqui Taylor was continuing to press, on our behalf, for action on this long outstanding matter.


  1. Update on Central Combined Resident’s Associations:       
    The two main subjects being discussed at present are:
    Travel & Movement: A working party is continuing to work with HCC and SADC to draw up long term plans to improve movement around St Albans.
    Solar Panels in Article 4 areas: A working party has drawn up a draft of planning guidelines. Once it is approved it will be posted on the St Albans Council website.
    A small group are to meet informally with the new Chair and Vice Chair of the CNC to discuss their plans for the CNC
    The next meeting will be 9 July 2024.
  2. City Neighbourhoods Committee:
    The new Chair of the City Neighbourhoods Committee is Cllr. Anthony Rowlands and the new Vice Chair is Cllr. Robert Donald.
    The next CNC meeting will be 22nd July and will mainly be devoted to future plans for the CNC.
  3. The Green Oasis in Sopwell Lane:
    Cllr Voisey kindly arranged with a colleague, Lindsay from Butterfly World 2, to carry out a bioblitz at the oasis on 15 June 2024 to find and identify as many species of plants, animals, fungi, and other organisms as possible within a two-hour period. Unfortunately, the heavens opened resulting in very few people attending and little wildlife being spotted. We hope to arrange a similar activity later in the year.
    Cllr Voisey asked if SAPHRA would like the green oasis to be included on a Green Spaces map which is being put together. All we would need to do is to send in our SAPHRA logo and it can be added in.

Cllr Voisey will also enquire of St Albans council if the dead field maple tree that they planted recently is to be replaced with a rowan tree
Funding from the CNC ward budget for wooden posts to protect the site from vehicles was agreed in July 2023, but nothing has happened since. Cllr Voisey agreed to chase this.
We applied on 10th March for funds from the CNC ward budget to install two information boards on the site. Cllr Voisey confirmed that she had given her personal approval for the spend (all three ward councillors have to approve any spend) and offered to find out what was happening.


  1. Next meeting:

Our next meeting will be held on Tuesday 3 September 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 London Road car park:
    The issue of the floodlights above the charging point in the London Road Car Park (near Hart Road) being on all day has re-occurred. Roger has reported it (with photo) to Cllr Voisey.
  • 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. This application has now been approved. The works will be carried out under the supervision of a Conservation Specialist and once completed the property will probably be sublet.
  • Blue Plaques:
    Professor Tim Boatswain announced that a blue plaque will be installed by the Dean of St Albans Cathedral at 40 Holywell Hill, St Albans on 24 July at 6:30pm in honour of Margaret Wix, the first female Mayor of St Albans.
  • Conservation 50:
    On Tuesday 23 July at 7pm Professor Tim Boatswain will be giving a philosophy talk on ‘What is Justice’ at the Lower Red Lion, 36 Fishpool Street, AL3 4RX. The philosophy is free, but you will have to pay for your own drinks (any donations to Conservation 50 will be gratefully received).
  • Lamp in Ryder Seed Mews car park:
    Residents of Pageant Road have complained about the overly bright light coming from a lamppost in the Ryder Seed Mews parking area. It is on all night causing grievance for neighbours in the vicinity.



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