Public meeting on future development of Abbey Stadium

This coming Monday there will be a public meeting about the future of the Abbey Stadium site. The oeners – Grosvenor estates – plan to build new houses there but are open to listening to public opinion on the issue.

This development has the potential to worsen city-bound traffic on Newmarket Road. However, the route south for these residents would be Barnwell Road rather than Coldham’s Lane, so that particular local problem junction should be less affected.

When: Monday 30th April 2012. 6pm-9pm
Where: Cambridge United Supporters Club, 530 Newmarket Road.
Why: Public meeting on future development of Abbey Stadium
Who: Cambridge United
Cost: Free
More info: Read the article in the Cambridge News – the owners say they want to build 150 new homes on the site.

RARA’s response to Conservation Area Consultation

RARA has been in consultation with the council over the proposed extension of the Conservation area. This second consultation suggests extending the Conservation Area to include parts of Chesterton fronting the river and Stourbridge common, but the recommendations for Riverside and Newmarket Road are unchanged.

You can read RARA’s Conservation and suburbs response here.

The council have been asked to put the second appraisal document back on their website. In the meantime you can read the information on the City website on the practical implications of being within a Conservation Area

Eastern Gate: Planning Committee ignores City Council’s own policies

RARA, in conjunction with Petersfield and Brunswick residents’ groups, has spent many hours in discussions with the City Council about their Eastern Gate development framework. The process began in July 2009, with a first ‘vision’ document agreed in July 2010. In October 2011 the Council adopted the final framework as a Supplementary Planning Document, known as an SPD. This sets guidelines for future development, and should be taken into account as ’emerging policy’ even before adoption. This particular SPD had three important requirements for any future development along the south side of Newmarket Road:

* That developments should vary in height between 3 and 5 storeys to avoid long horizontal rooflines.

* That through routes across the site should be built to help break down barriers between the communities to north and south of Newmarket Road.

* That developments should be set back to allow a continuous line of trees to ‘green’ this approach to the City.

Unfortunately, the Planning Committee has chosen to jettison all three requirements by approving a 5 storey residential block with a 90 metre frontage to sit alongside the previously consented Travelodge hotel of a similar height. Together the two buildings will form a continuous 5 storey 180metre long ‘canyon wall’ from the Cambridge Refrigeration Technology (CRT) building to Coldham’s Lane.

The Committee also allowed the developer’s proposal to step the west end of the building forward to match the frontage of the CRT building (an ugly concrete block). The alternative, which residents argued for, would have been to maintain the building setback along the full frontage in the expectation that the CRT site will also eventually be redeveloped. This would have allowed tree planting to continue all the way to the natural break of Abbey Street.

The Planning Committee also ignored the Council’s Open Spaces Strategy which requires major developments to provide open space. In a block with family accommodation there will not even be a children’s play area.

We all feel that our time has been wasted and that we cannot have confidence in a Council that does not attempt to enforce its own policies. We shall be making protests.

Riverside and Stourbridge Common Conservation Area Re-consultation

When: 28th November 2011 to 23rd January 2012
Why: Re-consultation on the newly named Riverside and Stourbridge Common Conservation Area.
Who: Susan Smith, Conservation and Design Officer, Cambridge City Council
Cost: Free

What to do next:
Comments or questions from the public are invited. Contact Susan Smith on 01223 457168 or for more details on how to access the documents regarding the conservation area.

What is the Riverside and Stourbridge Common Conservation Area?
The Riverside and Stourbridge Common Conservation Area is the new name for the Riverside Conservation Area. Earlier in 2011, Cambridge City Council conducted a consultation on an appraisal of the Riverside area, which is part of the Central Conservation Area. As a result of a deferral by the Environment Scrutiny Committee, there is to be a re-consultation on the contents of the appraisal document.

Cambridge Local Plan – Workshop

When: Wednesday 1st of February 2012 from 6pm to 9pm
Where: Small Hall in the Guildhall, Cambridge
Why: Workshop to allow residents to input views on the future development of Cambridge
Extra info: Sandwiches will be provided from 5.30pm
Cost: Free

What to do next: Confirm your attendance by 6th January 2012 via email: or telephone: 01223 457290.

What is the Cambridge Local Plan?

It is a key policy document that is produced by the City Council to manage the future development of land in Cambridge. The 2006 Local Plan now needs to be updated and work has been progressing on developing an evidence base of technical documents to support its review. The new Local Plan will guide development to 2031. The first formal stage of public consultation will take place on an Issues and Options Report, and this is due to take place in Summer 2012.

To feed into the Issues and Options Report, please attend the workshop. The workshop will provide an introduction to the Local Plan review process and there will also be interactive sessions where you will have an opportunity to input your views and aspirations on the future development of the City.

An agenda and relevant papers will be circulated prior to the workshop.

Want to get more involved?

If you’d like to meet up the Planning Policy Manager (Sara Saunders) on a one to one basis to discuss any issues relating to the Local Plan review then you can email her at: or telephone: 01223 457290.

Building work on Christchurch, Newmarket Road.

When: 28th November 2011. 3.30 to 5pm or 7 to 8.30 pm
Where: Christchurch on Newmarket Road
Why: A chance for local residents to view the plans and ask questions and an opportunity to meet with others from the area.
Who: Steve Midgley the vicar of Christchurch has organised these events.
Extra info: Tea will be served at 3.30-5pm and drinks at 7-8.30pm
Cost: Free

What to do next:
If you can’t make the receptions you can contact Richard Newman (Buildings Manager) on 01223 362574 to ask questions.

What is happening?
Currently there is scaffolding up on the west side of the building. This is to enable repairs and repointing to the stone and brickwork where it has suffered weather damage.

They are about to apply for planning permission from both from the council and the Church of England to allow them to remove the existing porch and add a front extension which will incorporate a light and airy foyer with two side rooms attached. They also want to reposition the railings so that the whole frontage of the church building is opened up to become more welcoming and attractive. If planning permission is granted they hope to start the building work in the summer of 2012.