Preparatory exploration work is being carried out ahead of the regeneration of a site right in the heart of St Albans.
St Albans City and District Council is working to transform a run-down area of land to the south of the Alban Arena.
This is part of the City Centre Opportunity Site South. It includes the former police station, a building previously owned by Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust and Hertfordshire House.
The council has acquired all the land, apart from Hertfordshire House, as well as planning permission for a major mixed-use development. This will provide for commercial space at ground level and residential flats on the upper levels. Approximately a third of the flats will be affordable. Car parking will also be provided at a basement level.
Before starting on the redevelopment, the council has arranged for archaeological tests to be carried out in line with a condition of the planning permission. The council-owned land is approximately 75 metres from the medieval town boundary to the east and fronts onto a road leading to the main thoroughfare of medieval St Albans.
The tests will determine the significance of this archaeological resource and help the Council fully understand the impact of the planned development.
Councillor Julian Daly, commercial and development portfolio holder for St Albans City and District Council, said: “This preparatory work marks the start of an exciting new project that will culminate in the regeneration of part of St Albans city centre.
“The aim is to be able to demolish the former police station buildings in the autumn. This large-scale council project will enhance the area considerably, providing much-needed new homes and commercial space for the community.”