Vague ramblings

Wrong battle, 25 years too late (Coffee shops ad caffeinium).

Posted in St Albans, Urbanism by Ian Cundell on 10 April, 2014
French Row, St Albans

The Millets building on French Row, looking exactly like a building on a medieval street shouldn’t.

So I ended up writing to the Herts Ad again.  (Herts Ad link, as a courtesy). This will be the last (at least on this topic) I promise.

Going to a spectacular length to condemn something that nobody is proposing, while ignoring the important bit of the story – a chance to rectify a terrible bit of out-of-character architecture, really does take the biscuit.

Whether it will happen like that, who knows? But you might think this opportunity is what should be at the core of the Civic Society’s thinking.


Oh Dear Lord, not content showing contempt for young mums, busy professionals, students, the self-employed and all of their needs and desires, St Albans Civic Society has now taken to tilting at windmills.

It is one thing rabble rousing about Caffe Nero, but quite a spectacular display of hubris to object to a coffee shop that nobody – absolutely nobody – has proposed. Presumably the Society is delighted that the old Harringtons unit is now a travel agent.

The Society is completely out of touch with the often brutal realities of the modern high street, and wholly indifferent to the needs of a large chunk of the population.  It is hard to avoid the conclusion that it is time for St Albans Civic Society to lay up its colours. 

And what a shame that the Herts Ad let a potentially interesting story about an attempt to revamp an important corner of the City centre to be derailed by a group rapidly degenerating into a collection of one-track obsessives travelling the road to irrelevance. Milletts has been there as long as I can remember, and its hideous and out-of-character building is long overdue for redevelopment. So how about focussing on the real story?

If you want to talk to me, or my business partners in our about regeneration, pop over to the Ramidus Consulting website (the view expressed here and in the Herts Advertiser are, obviously, mine and not necessarily those of Ramidus). Our opinion goes where the evidence, not assumption, leads us and I am proud to be associated with Ramidus.

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