St Albans Review of the Year: February

First published in News St Albans & Harpenden Review: Photograph of the Author by , Senior Reporter

Picture collages, floral tributes and cuddly toys were left for former Townsend School pupil Craig Burns who died in a car accident in February.

The 18-year-old died at the scene on the A4147 Hemel Hempstead Road, at the junction with Appspond Lane and Beechtree Lane, after being hit by a Citroen C3 just before 5pm on Wednesday, February 15.

Chris Saxby, who worked with Craig at Marks and Spencers in St Peters Street said: “He was brilliant. Out of everyone I knew he always made me happy. His outlook on life was brilliant. If I ever needed someone to make me laugh or cheer me up I would have gone to him.”

In the council’s offices, politicians and residents argued passionately for and against the demolition of the Pemberton Block, a historic building in the centre of St Albans, this month.

Hertfordshire County Council proposed to knock down the Victorian building just off Hatfield Road to create a concrete playground for Alban City Primary School. The application was referred to the National Planning Casework Unity, with the recommendation that it be refused. The RSPCA made a plea for information in February after a five-month-old foal was left for dead in a field in London Colney. The animal, who was later named Jack, died two days after being found near the North Orbital Road.

Residents voiced their fear that a proposed organic waste plant on the outskirts of Colney Heath would give off a terrible smell.

Agrivert applied to Hertfordshire County Council for permission to build an anaerobic digestion plant at Coursers Farm, just off Coursers Road, 1.2km southwest of Colney Heath, which would process food waste. However residents claimed the smell coming from the existing plant in South Mimms already made their lives a misery and said another plant would make the situation even worse.

Steve Woodland, who lives in the area, claims that at its worst, the smell can spread to London Colney and Potters Bar. He said: “It is a putrid smell – it is like having sick in your car. In summer time you want to have your windows open but I can’t have them open.”

At the end of the month neighbourhoods across the district were plunged into darkness as part of a controversial cost-cutting measure.

Hertfordshire County Council’s scheme to switch off the majority of street lights between midnight and 6am came under fire from residents and opposition councillors, who feared a rise in crime and road accidents.

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