© 2017 The Harpenden Society
After a total of six previously unsuccessful planning applications PegasusLife has received the go-ahead to build a five storey apartment complex on the site of the long-derelict James Marshall House and those adjacent buildings which latterly served as Harpenden’s Seniors Club. It will comprise 35 two-bedroom and three one-bed apartments with a management company run on a not for profit basis. Construction work is scheduled to begin in July of this year, with completion expected in December 2017.
At the Harpenden Society’s April meeting, PegasusLife manager Emma Webster put the plans into context. Situated on the edge of Rothamsted Park, Park House, as it will be called, will overlook the park, close to the Sports Centre and Swimming Pool. However, an unobstructed view across the park for residents will require the controversial removal of four large conifer trees inside the park boundary, permission for which has yet to be granted.
Tim Riley, from RCKa Architects – and a Society member – then gave a more detailed presentation of the plans. He said it was necessary, for aesthetic as well as planning consent reasons, for the development, comprising three separate apartment buildings, to blend with the nearby Town Hall and Busy Bees nursery building, with the intention of enhancing the Leyton Road townscape. Accordingly the RCKa team had pursued what he called an ‘arts and crafts’ architectural theme.
At the same time it also needed to be, as far as possible, practically and visually attractive for those enjoying their leisure activities in Rothamsted Park, to which end Park House will also include a café open to the public as well as a 76 square metre communal Seniors Club lounge area for the use of its elderly and/or disabled residents.
Artist’s impressions of the future Park House show outdoor café tables on a south-facing terrace, fringed by an attractive pergola. There will be pedestrian access to the public areas from the north along Hay Lane.
Inside the three apartment blocks – connected on the slightly sloping site by a covered shallow-ramped colonnade – a novel ‘open plan’ layout has been adopted which does away with traditional corridors to give a more spacious ambience. In keeping with today’s inevitable personal transport needs, each Park House apartment will have its own assigned car parking space.