Concerns are growing that a development to build 58 flats on the site of an old clothing factory will pile pressure on parking in the area.
The Beaumont Works site in Sutton Road could be converted into one and two-bedroom flats if St Albans council approves an application currently under consultation.
But there is a worry amongst those living on Hedley Road, which runs around the outside of the site, about the effect both the building work and the residential use will have on parking and standards of living.
Although 31 of the 58 flats are designed for at least two occupants, only 60 parking spaces are included in the application. Opponents argue the shortage will lead to cars spilling out of the development onto the surrounding streets,
Jonathan Hemmant, 44, of Hedley Road, said he already parked 200 metres away and was worried he could be pushed even further away, creating a knock-on effect for young families and elderly people on neighbouring streets.
Mr Hemmant said: “The application does not match up to reality.
“The developers have overstated the benefits of local transport, have used car ownership data which is incomplete and have carried out a flawed analysis, ignoring demographic and other considerations which show that car ownership will be significantly higher than stated.”
A new access road to the site included in the application is unlikely to help because Mr Hemmant said it would take away five further parking spaces.
His concerns were echoed by many residents of Hedley Road, including one who said he was “disappointed” as the development “is clearly going to be a problem.”
Hannah Hannah Morton-Hedges, who has lived on the road for 10 years and first began noticing the traffic problems after the extension of the Hedley Villas, said it was “ludicrous not to prioritise family homes” and the proliferation of new flats “will mean the whole community feel of the city is going to go.”
Without that, she predicted “it is going to become another commuter town.”
Not everyone is opposed to the scheme – some of those living on Hedley Road expressed their hope that the development could help the area, with one man saying it would be much preferable to an empty car park and factory which is all there is now.
He said: “The parking will not be great, but it’s not great now.”
A spokesperson for the applicant, Inland Finance Ltd, said: “The perception of a higher requirement for car parking is not borne out by the statistical data.
“The allocation of spaces to the development has been calculated in line with real figures from the latest census data on car ownership in St Albans. This data indicates that 53 car parking spaces would be sufficient for a scheme of one and two bedroom apartments of this size.
“The exciting redevelopment of the Beaumont Works site will deliver much needed new homes to the local area, while enabling the preservation of the heritage asset and we are delighted to be bringing forward these very exciting proposals for the site.”
The plans and comments can be viewed on www.stalbans.gov.uk, under reference numbers 5/2016/3802 and 5/2016/3813.