Tuesday, 29 December 2009
the Odeon car park 11 20 am Tues 29 Dec 2009
Dull as it looks, this is the only thorny issue connected with the restoration of the Odeon. The chunk of land shown here was not always a van hire park. It belonged to the Odeon and, as you can see, provided plenty of space.
The developer sold it to Tesco. Presumably Tesco (in fit of discovering that it had to stop the rot of London Road caused by its acquisition of so much land and property it had no intention of using) recently leased it out to the van hire firm. No disagreement with that. But one wonders what will happen in a couple of years time. How long a lease has the van hire company? No-one there today to ask.
Or, more challengingly, what is Tesco up to? Will there be another head banging attempt to get planning permission for a superstore nobody wants? Now they are going into the old Woolworth’s in St Peter St maybe not. Maybe they’ll try to build a smaller Tesco down here with some housing…and as a sweetener offer a deal to let the Odeon have some parking space? Or maybe they’ll give up and disappear from London Road. And sell the car park back to the Odeon.
Mmmm, the possibilities are endless. One has trouble picking the likeliest outcome. But what we down here do know is that there isn’t any parking space in the little streets round the Odeon. Ok for us who live here because we’ll just walk. Lots of other people could just walk too. Or get the train. Or bus. But they won’t, will they? They’ll expect to drive here. And they then won’t want to walk the five minutes down from the public car parks slightly up London Road. They will want this car park back.
Don’t actually think anything will make St Albans change its mind about Tesco moving into London Road. Nothing…not even selling the car park back to the Odeon.. is going to achieve that. Maybe out of spite they will sell it to someone else. Then all those people from Harpenden with three kids and a 4 x 4 who’ll want to park near the Odeon will be cramming into Paxton Rd. They won’t be popular either. And the Odeon won’t be popular for leading to such a pass.
It looks insoluble. But maybe it isn’t.