Petitioning Cambridge City Council

Reject the Proposed Development at 3 and 5 Queen Edith's Way

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RE: 16/2135/FUL. Erection of six detached dwellings with garages and carports, cycle parking and associated landscaping (following demolition of existing buildings on site), 3 - 5 Queen Edith’s Way Cambridge Cambridgeshire CB1 7PH

The undersigned request that Cambridge City Council reject the application in its current form as it fails to meet the expectations of the community and is not compliant with the policy requirements set out in the Cambridge Local Plan 2014 (CLP-2014) as detailed below.  Although the CLP-2014 is still to be fully adopted, the community believe the principles are important for the future of development in Cambridge and should be adhered to in this application.

Policy 52 of the CLP-2014 specifies that proposals for development of an existing residential plot will only be permitted if the form, height and layout of the proposed development is appropriate to the surrounding pattern of development and the character of the area; the amenity and privacy of neighbouring, existing and new properties is protected; and provision is made for adequate amenity space, vehicular access arrangements and parking spaces for the proposed and existing properties.

Policy 57 of the CLP-2014 states that high quality new buildings will be supported where it can be demonstrated that they have a positive impact on their setting in terms of location on the site, height, scale and form, materials and detailing, ground floor activity, wider townscape and landscape impacts and available views. 

The proposed development fails to meet the requirements of Policies 52 and 57 on the following grounds:

  1. The proposed design and site layout is profoundly out of character with the surrounding buildings and with the Queen Edith’s area in general.  The surrounding area is primarily populated with low level dwellings such as bungalows and two-storey houses with low profile rooflines.  We do not consider it acceptable to base the development height relative to the chimney line of the largest neighbouring properties without due consideration to all surrounding properties.  In addition, the community do not agree that the development has demonstrated it will have a positive impact on the location over and above the retention of the existing buildings.
  2. The surrounding dwellings have much more significant detachment from other residences than in the proposal.  The CLP-2014 identified that Cambridge already has provision to meet its 2031 housing target.  Therefore, building of this density is not required and we request that the number of units be reduced so the detachment distance between dwellings in the development and with existing neighbour dwellings is more in keeping with the area.
  3. Due consideration has not been given to the effect on neighbouring properties in terms of privacy and over-shadowing.  The application is selective regarding the properties it discusses and the shadow analysis is incomplete. Therefore, the community consider the application deficient due to the omission of details related to all of the properties affected by issues with loss of privacy and loss of light.
  4. The proposed development is compliant with Policy 82 regarding Parking Management (maximum 2 spaces) but fails to address the enforceability of the parking limit and the provision for visitor and disabled parking.  The current layout of the site permits the residents unlimited access to parking on the access road and external to the carports and garages.  Therefore, given the size of houses, the number of vehicles accessing the site will be considerably more than the application suggests and thus the transport impact has not been assessed as set out in Policy 81 and is not compliant with the council’s desire to promote lower levels of private car ownership.  
  5. In addition, the community requests that restricted parking and traffic management be reassessed in the application to address the flow of traffic entering and exiting the site.  Through its own proposals to upgrade the cycle provision on Queen Edith's Way, the City Council has acknowledged that this is a priority cycle route and will be aiming to increase the number of cycles passing the property; so every additional car movement on and off the site will bring increased risk of conflict with cyclists.  In addition, the site exit is at one of the busiest sections of Queen Edith’s Way with drivers over-taking on the opposite side of the road to turn right into Hills Road.  Increasing the numbers of vehicles exiting this site will cause significant conflict with other road users in addition to the shared route for pedestrians and cyclists.

The community requests that the developer make a contribution to the area, aligned with government guidance and the CLP-2014. Policy 45 of the CLP-2014 specifies that planning permission will only be granted for residential development on sites with capacity for between 2 and 9 dwellings if provision is made for a minimum of 10 per cent affordable housing. In addition, government guidance suggest that contributions should be sought from developments exceeding a combined gross floor-space of more than 1,000 square metres (www.gov.uk/guidance/planning-obligations The proposed development greatly exceeds this level of floor space.

The community consider the proposed development too dense for the plot and that due consideration has not been given to water drainage.  Policy 32 of the CLP-2014 specifies that development will only be permitted providing it is demonstrated that the peak rate of run-off over the lifetime of the development, allowing for climate change, is no greater for the developed site than it was for the undeveloped site.  While the drainage report demonstrates the potential impact of the development, it has not assessed the additional run-off compared with the undeveloped site. 

Finally, the community want to fundamentally continue to support the restrictive covenants on the development of land bordering Queen Edith’s Way (including numbers 3 and 5).  The covenant states “No building shall be erected within 30 feet of the road or roads upon which any plot fronts except fences and those not more than 6 feet high”.  The proposed development is not compliant with the covenant.

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