- Cambridge City Council
Refuse planning permission for 321 rooms (15/0398/FUL) in Cheddars Lane
MORE INFO SEE RIVERSIDE AREA RESIDENTS ASSOCIATION
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1. This development represents a step-change increase in scale and mass in total contrast with the surrounding area; many new buildings are not only 4 storeys in a 1-2 storey area, but are also built on land that is already substantially higher than in Stanley Road.
2. The development has no on-site parking provision for over 300 people and their visitors, meaning the already congested area of Riverside/Stanley Road will be targeted due to it being the only in the area lacking on-street parking controls.
3. As the City Council is a major land owner of the development site we consider that this land should better incorporate local employment-generating uses and/or much-needed affordable housing.
We do not oppose development, but wish make sure that new scheme is in proportion to the local area, does not make a difficult transport situation worse or damage local businesses, and incorporates desperately needed affordable homes. Our requests for modest alterations to the development buildings have been repeatedly refused by the developer.
WE PETITION CAMBRIDGE CITY COUNCIL:
Reduce building heights near to, and increase the separation from, Stanley Road properties to protect the amenity of nearby residents and better respond to the local context:
- The proposed development breaches Local Plan policies 3/4, 3/12 and NPPF section 7 in that:
- As all of the proposed buildings near the Stanley Road boundary are designed metres taller than surrounding houses, land on the development site will be meters higher to begin with, and two separate blocks will be built close together and very near to the Stanley Road boundary; collectively this will visually dominate nearby residences and increases the risk of noise and disturbance.
- The four-storey buildings are 12.8m tall, but 13m rounded up (Local Plan 2006 section 1.20), so therefore should trigger Tall Building policy 3/13, but it is not considered.
- Building D is an overwhelmingly bulky building without precedent in the area; being out of alignment with the main development in the direct sightline of nearby properties, its blank brick façade will both visually dominate views through the thin deciduous trees nearby and set an inappropriate precedent for future local re-development.
- NPPF Section 7 states “Applicants will be expected to work closely with those directly affected by their proposals to evolve designs that take account of the views of the community” but the applicant is unwilling to make any changes despite these being the first plans residents have seen.
No residential development should take place before on-street parking controls are in place in the local area:
- The eastern Riverside area experiences high on-street parking competition. There has been no consideration of the impact on this local context, and the transport assessment is inadequate, breaching Local Plan 2006 policy 8/2 and emerging Local Plan 2014 policy 82.
- Car-free developments should be approved only where local on-street parking controls exist (Local Plan 2014 policy 82); yet the Stanley Road area does not have these and is only a short walk from the development. Enforcement of the no-car policy is impossible, and it does not apply to residents out of term time, or visitors.
- Very limited on-site parking means the suggested 15min student drop off period is hopelessly optimistic, especially when it is acknowledged that most of the 321 students will arrive on the first weekend before term.
- Strong support of these plans from at least one main target institutions has not been gained (required by Local Plan policy 7/10), and there is a clear risk that “appropriate management controls” may not be in place.
Onsite professional support should be available to deal with residents’ and students’ concerns:
- We feel that a lack of professional on-site support after 17:00 is inadequate for such a large site and should be provided to protect the amenity of students and residents alike.
Refusal would allow opportunities to better incorporate either continued employment-generating uses and/or affordable homes:
- The land on the development site is dominated by general industrial uses and both Local Plans 2006 (policy 7/3) and 2014 (policy 41) cite the importance of protecting employment unless sufficient space elsewhere can be found, vacancy rates are high or the land cannot be realistically marketed (none of which did the applicant demonstrate).
- Should a land use change be deemed appropriate, we request that these proposals be rejected and much-needed affordable housing incorporated into future designs. Similar speculative proposals on Mill Road (14/1496/FUL) have been recently refused on the grounds that it was “reducing the Council’s ability to meet housing need”, citing the “cumulative effect” of losing potential housing land.
- Cambridge City Council
Refuse planning permission for a speculative scheme to build 321 rooms.
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