Mill Road Depot

Update 3 November 2017: See the latest iteration of the plans (as displayed on 2 November at Bharat Bhavan). Provide feedback by 20 November.

The council depot on the north side of Mill Road, west of the railway line is due to be redeveloped for housing. The developer will be Cambridge Investment Partnership (CIP), a joint venture between Cambridge City Council and Hill, a commercial housebuilder.

Go to the development website

Response to initial consultation by CIP

CIP’s initial concept proposal for the Mill Road depot site

Inadequate ambition on car usage

Average car ownership in Petersfield and Romsey is much lower than is being proposed in the depot site plans. The apartments recently built around Great Northern Rd in CB1 have 48 parking spaces for 137 units, a ratio of 35%. CIP are proposing about 210 spaces for about 230 units, a ratio of 91%.

We would like to see a large reduction in allocation for surface parking in order to create more public space, a more attractive environment, and more affordable houses. The only surface provision should be for loading, tradespeople, shared cars (e.g. Zipcar) and disabled parking.

Parking (or, more accurately for most people, car storage) provision for the entire site could be contained in the basement of the apartment block. Houses could be provided with more living space and a covered, secure storage space for bikes, gardening equipment, workshop, or whatever – considerably smaller than the proposed garages.

Need for affordability

We want to see a clear commitment to substantially more than 40% affordable housing, and for ‘affordable’ to mean genuinely affordable to ordinary people, with a mix of rented and different ownership structures.

We are concerned that the partnership with Hill means that there will be too much emphasis on generating profit, rather than satisfying the social need for affordable housing. We understand that Hill brings valuable expertise, but it is not clear who is driving this project and for whose benefit. This needs to be articulated clearly with no moving of goalposts later on. This is a unique opportunity to provide for many current and future generations of Cambridge residents. It must not be squandered or compromised.

Public space

Petersfield is short of attractive, usable public space. The most recent additions, Ravensworth Gardens and St Matthew’s Gardens are both disconnected from the wider communities, and therefore underused. For public spaces to be well-used and loved, they must be visible, adjacent to and readily accessible from a major public thoroughfare.

The local community would like to see more than the minimum amount of open space required on this site. A number of recent developments in the area have avoided their Section 106 obligation to provide public space by making a payment to the council instead. As there is no other land available to develop for open space, it has been spent instead on “improvements”. We need more green space!

The best locations for open space on the site are on the south-east corner, which is visible, adjacent to and accessible from Mill Rd; and the north side adjacent to Hooper St.

The initial plan differs greatly from the SPD in having large houses built in the south-east corner. This is not the most desirable location to have a house, being overlooked from the bridge, shaded by trees, and exposed to the greatest road noise. Better to have an open space large enough for people to kick a ball around without causing a nuisance to neighbours. The space would also be ideal for community events, e.g. as part of Mill Rd fairs.

The northern space, incorporating a children’s play area, would be well used by residents of St Matthew’s, being far from traffic noise and pollution.

Some open space should of course be included within the site too, but larger spaces will see more use than many disconnected small pieces.

Design

This site must aspire to be award-winning, and a reference for future developments. We want to to see high quality architecture that is crafted, sympathetic to the local area, and interestingly innovative. The urban design, architecture and landscaping should promote a happy and engaged community. The development should demonstrate best practices in sustainable design, for energy and water consumption, drainage, waste disposal, etc.

Car parks off Hooper St

The cost of waiting for Hooper St garage leases to expire, then redeveloping the site at a later date must be considerably greater than doing it when access and machinery is available from the main site. There is also a large opportunity cost in not providing the ten or so new houses that could be built on the site.

The garages are an ugly waste of valuable space. They no longer serve the purpose for which they were originally intended (to remove cars from Ainsworth and other local streets) as they are let to people well outside the immediate locality and most likely used for general storage.

We understand that at least some current leaseholders have already been approached and rejected whatever offer was made to them. This is too important an issue to leave there. A full cost-benefit analysis must be carried out (with an upper cost limit based on valuations for compulsory purchase – which would not of course be made public). More creative thought should be put into developing options to offer current leaseholders like-for-like or better alternatives.

Hooper St access road

The blocked-off access from Hooper St appears to take up valuable space for little purpose. There is no obvious benefit for refuse trucks, which will need to make a circuit of the site, not go through it.

It would be a more efficient use of space to provide a single pedestrian/cycle access point to the site (which could be wide enough for an emergency vehicle) opposite Ainsworth St. The cycle lane would split off towards the railway line and the footway would continue straight on through the development (and be landscaped so as to be less attractive as a cycling route).

Workshops

The workshops organised to develop the SPD were well-attended and positive. Much was lost in translation in the SPD, and there is a growing feeling that the SPD, and now the initial concepts, are departing significantly from the vision that the community was developing. I would urge CIP to run another workshop or two before committing to detailed designs. Exhibitions have their place, but they are not the most effective way to gather ideas. Well-run workshops promote dialogue, understanding and trust. That’s what we all need!

Supplementary Planning Document

The City Council drew up a Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) that sets out a framework for how the site will be developed.

There is much to be commended about the SPD, but it seems that few of the issues raised in earlier consultations have been taken aboard (e.g. with regards to joining up the green spaces, being zero car, removing or relocating  the garages (e.g. underground), sustainability (e.g. energy production and water conservation), and integrating the Chisholm Trail cycle route).

There is a desperate need in Petersfield for accessible, usable green space. The SPD reserves quite a lot of land for green space, but it’s not as accessible to the wider community as it needs to be (think of the underused Ravensworth Gardens pocket park). If more of the open space at the depot were joined up, visible and easily accessed from Mill Road, it would see more use – day-to-day and for community events.

The SPD was approved by the Development Plan Scrutiny Sub-Committee on Wednesday, 22nd March, 2017.

Tackling peak-time congestion

Update July 2017: The Greater Cambridge Partnership (aka City Deal) dropped proposals for peak-time congestion control points (virtual bollards), but is progressing plans for a tax on workplace parking spaces, and extension of residents parking zones. New proposals and further consultation is expected to be announced in advance of the Board meeting on 26 July.

Peak-time congestion control points

New virtual bollards or bus gates (similar to the ones on Regent St, Bridge St, Silver St and Emmanuel Rd) are proposed for various locations in the city, including on Hills Road and Mill Road. These would permit only buses, cycles and hackney carriage taxis to pass during the morning and evening peaks. The exact locations and hours of operation are not yet determined.

Indicative locations of proposed peak-time congestion control points
Indicative locations of proposed peak-time congestion control points

The deadline for submitting a response to the consultation was 10 October 2016, though you can still write to the City Deal with questions or comments: city.deal@cambridgeshire.gov.uk

Find out more Background documents

Representation by SoPRA to the City Deal

There is general agreement amongst residents with the broad objectives of the plan to reduce congestion in order to allow buses to run more reliably. However many residents feel strongly that the proposed Peak-Time Control Points will have an unacceptably detrimental impact on their quality of life and the viability of local businesses. It is most probable that an overwhelming majority would vote against their introduction. But, given that a decision has already been made to introduce them, we would like to influence where and how the control points are introduced and operated. That is what this response is focused on.

Communication

We would like to thank officers and councillors for taking the time at exhibitions to patiently answer residents’ questions about the 8 Point Plan.

Some people who attended those exhibitions, in particular the one at St Paul’s, found it difficult to work out who was there in an official capacity because they were not all wearing clearly identifiable name badges. Some of the ‘officials’, including from Mott MacDonald, showed little knowledge or understanding of the local impacts of the PCCPs, and were unable to answer people’s questions.

Our residents’ association committee were happy to distribute leaflets door to door throughout South Petersfield. However, residents and businesses in many other areas of the city and, just as importantly, in necklace villages and beyond, did not receive individual notifications of the plans or consultations. I am sure that many people are still unaware of what is planned.

The consultation has given people a range of impressions of what is planned with the PCCPs, with officers and councillors offering contradictory interpretations of how much scope there is for changing the plans; what locations are under consideration; what hours they might operate; whether they will operate tidally; and who might be eligible for exemptions.

Many people have commented about the poor quality of the questionnaire, with leading questions and inadequate prompting on the negative impacts. In fact the entire exercise appears to be more like a sales promotion than an honest engagement around the pros and cons of the proposals.

The leaflet does not make clear that the planned congestion reduction proposals go hand-in-hand with new bus lanes on radial routes. Very few people will have read paragraph 63 of the Access & Capacity Report, which makes this clear. Describing bus lanes/ways as ‘public transport schemes’ with no further explanation or references is misleading and disingenuous.

Exemptions

Many residents now believe that they will have an automatic exemption to drive through control points. How they came to that conclusion is easy to see from this sentence in the leaflet: “It is important to underline that all properties and businesses along a road with a PCCP would still be accessible at all times – including during peak-hours.”

Some officers and councillors have stated categorically that residents and businesses close to PCCPs will be eligible for an exemption (though ‘close’ has not been defined). This is a promise that residents and local businesses expect to be kept!

It has been suggested that granting so many exemptions will put the scheme outside the Civil Enforcement powers of the County Council, and therefore enforceable only by the police, who are unlikely to make this a priority.

Cllr Herbert indicated that residents would be able to appeal Penalty Charge Notices for exceptional circumstances. This will be inconvenient and, for some people, stressful. As there are likely to be a large number of such claims, has the administrative burden on the County Council been costed?

People with disabilities

The Access & Capacity Report indicates that “Disabled drivers would not be exempt” from control point access restrictions. This should have been mentioned in the consultation, as many people assume that , say, Blue Badge holders would receive an automatic exemption as they do not have the option to walk, cycle or take a bus.

Many residents are concerned that people with limited mobility (e.g. because of a heart condition), but who do not qualify for a Blue Badge, will not be eligible for an exemption. Residents are also concerned that it will be difficult for them to assist infirm relatives and friends, e.g. to give them a lift to a doctor or hospital appointment.

Health and social care

There are serious concerns that health and social care workers will not be able to attend their charges in a timely manner: administering medication, helping with toileting and getting out of bed are all time-critical. It is not possible to reschedule visits to avoid traffic peaks without severely impacting the lives of vulnerable adults and children. Also care staff are generally not paid for the time it takes to drive between homes, so long detours will reduce their earnings, which are already barely above the minimum wage.

Private hire vehicles

The Access & Capacity Report states, “The current Cambridge core traffic scheme allows private hire cars access through the existing closure points; however it is considered that this may not be appropriate for these closures.” Most of the public are not aware of the distinction between hackney and private hire taxis, nor of the reasoning for excluding private hire taxis. It must be remembered that some residents with limited mobility depend on private hire taxis, and would be penalised financially if those had to follow long detours. There will need to be clarity about which taxi companies are permitted to pass through control points.

Working mothers

Many people have expressed the view that the PCCP proposals discriminate against working mothers. The practical issues clearly apply to parents of either gender, but in most cases it is women who assume the responsibility of delivering and collecting young children from school (and pre- and after-school activities, often laden with sports bags, musical instruments, etc.) Combining this with getting to and from work in a short space of time by bike or bus is not a practical option for most of them.

Schools

It is clear that parents driving their children to school (primary and private schools in particular) generates a significant amount of traffic and congestion. The City Deal appears not to have any plans to tackle this, and is expecting parents to change their behaviour without any assistance.

Driving to work

Many residents work outside the city (often one partner works in the city, another outside). For them public transport is rarely an option (a situation that is unlikely to change) and they would resent having to leave home very much earlier, or drive several extra miles, on possibly highly congested roads, to get to work. This argues for making control points on radial roads tidal.

Home services & deliveries

It is unclear what the effect of PCCPs will be on:

  • Post Office and other courier collections and deliveries (especially deliveries with a guaranteed delivery time before 10am).
  • Builders, who typically start work on site between 8am and 9am.
  • Maintenance service providers, e.g. attending plumbing emergencies.

Other practical considerations

People unfamiliar with the city will struggle to understand what route they need to take. Sat navs do not generally ‘know’ about time-limited access restrictions. It will be well-nigh impossible to communicate sufficient information on road-side signage to guide people to all destinations.

People arriving at a PCCP slightly later than anticipated but after the switch-on time, perhaps because of a hold-up en route, will be faced with having to take a Penalty Charge Notice or change their route at the last minute, possibly entailing a detour of several miles.

People reaching a PCCP unexpectedly will need to be able to turn around, including lorries and coaches. In many cases the only available ‘escape route’ will be via narrow residential streets.

Rat run: Tenison Rd

Figure 4.9 in the Short List Report, showing “Option 6 with mode shift – Demand flow difference from DM” indicates that Tenison Rd will receive a >50% increase in northbound traffic. That is extremely alarming for residents of that road, who fear a marked reduction in quality of life, in particular additional noise disturbance and pollution.

Tenison Rd is having nearly £500,000 of Section 106 money spent on it to calm the traffic to mitigate the increase in volume resulting from the CB1 development and increased footfall at the train station. This was in recognition of the fact that Tenison Rd (and, to a lesser extent, St Barnabas and Devonshire Rds) will already be carrying too much through traffic for non-arterial residential roads.

Tenison Rd is heavily used by people walking and cycling to and from the station. Adding a large volume of traffic will reduce safety and increase pollution.

Impassable crossings

The crossings at the junctions between Tenison Rd and the Northern Access Road and Station Road are uncontrolled. Local residents, workers and commuters already expect that these will present a serious obstacle for pedestrians, especially those with disabilities or young children, and a hazard for people on cycles. (These issues have been raised with Ian Dyer and the safety team.) Add significantly more through these junctions and they will be practically impassable for pedestrians at peak times (except of course when the road logjams).

Potential rat run: Tenison Ave–Lyndewode Rd

If the control point on Hills Road is set between Station Rd and Harvey Rd, Tenison Avenue and Lyndewode Rd will be used as a rat run. This appears not to have been picked up on the CSRM, presumably because the cell resolution is still too coarse.

Options we have discussed, but which would need detailed analysis and close consultation are:

  • Adding a control point (possibly tidal) on Tenison Rd between Gt Northern Rd and Tenison Avenue. This would have major implications for residents and local businesses.
  • Adding a control point or closing Tenison Avenue to through traffic.

Travis Perkins

The builders yard at the Mill Road end of Devonshire Road receives a stream of HGVs and builders’ vans, many of them during the morning peak. Having a control point on Mill Road bridge means that all traffic to Travis Perkins will have to travel up and down Devonshire Road (there is a right-turn ban from Mill Road into Devonshire Road – for good safety reasons). Has Travis Perkins been actively consulted on the proposals?

Travis Perkins is also likely to redevelop the site in 2017/18 in accordance with the planning consent granted on 8 April 2014 (11/1294/FUL, 11/1295/FUL). This will draw a large number of construction vehicles into Devonshire Rd during the morning peak.

Other potential rat runs

If the control point on Hills Rd is set beyond Bateman St, then Bateman St and other streets in New Town will become even more heavily used rat runs. Similar sorts of concerns will be raised around Coleridge Rd, Radegund Rd, Madingley and Coton villages, and no doubt other streets that the traffic model hasn’t picked up. How will these potential rat runs be addressed?

Newmarket Road

The modelling indicates that a large portion of traffic will be displaced onto other roads. Newmarket Rd in particular stands out as it is a major bus route. It does not seem to be a good strategy to improve the reliability of some services at the expense of others.

Park & Ride

Many residents have asked why the County Council does not reverse the imposition of a £1 charge for parking at the Park & Ride. The ~15% sustained reduction in use of P&R has undoubtedly led to a significant and sustained increase in traffic into the city, congestion at peak times, and residential streets jammed with commuters’ cars.

Congestion charging

Many residents have asked why the City Deal has not consulted on a congestion charge, believing it to be a more satisfactory way to reduce congestion.

Conclusions

Residents support the underlying objective of reducing congestion in the city centre, and accept that behaviour change is necessary to achieve this. However there is very little support for PCCPs in the locations proposed. There is concern that the side-effects will be highly detrimental to residents’ quality of life and to the viability of local businesses. The plans offer no improvements to city bus services, nor assistance with getting children to and from school.

We therefore ask the City Deal to:

  1.  Conduct an equality impact assessment of the planned measures on those people and businesses that have no reasonable alternative to driving when the PCCPs are active.
  2.  Clarify who will be eligible for exemptions.
  3.  Examine in more detail what the impacts of PCCPs will be on traffic flows between Hills Road and Mill Road.
  4.  Incentivise commuters to use P&R (or regular bus services).
  5.  Commission research into how parents may be assisted in taking their children to and from school safely without needing to drive.

We also ask the City Deal to review and model the following variations and alternatives:

  1. Operate PCCPs in the morning only. If City Deal measures are effective at inducing modal shift to buses and bikes, there will be fewer people driving out of the city in the evening.
  2. Operate PCCPs on radial roads (Mill Rd, Hills Rd) tidally (so that residents can exit the city in the morning, and enter in the evening).
  3. Test the Mill Road PCCP at one of three locations:
    • On the railway bridge
    • By the swimming pool
    • East of Coleridge Road
  4. Test the Hills Rd PCCP at one of two locations:
    • Between Station Rd and Bateman St, with additional control(s) to block rat-running via Tenison Ave.
    • Between Harvey Rd and Gonville Pl, with additional controls to block rat-running in New Town.
  5. Consult on adding a PCCP on Tenison Rd at the Gt Northern Way junction, and any other measures that would reduce through traffic in the area.
  6. Instead of PCCPs on Mill Rd and Hills Rd, have control points at the Trumpington St end of Lensfield Rd and Bateman St. Combined with the East Rd PCCP, this would be effective at reducing traffic on Hills Rd and Mill Rd, as these would no longer be through routes to other parts of the city. This is illustrated at: http://www.smartertransport.uk/buses/#map4
  7. Instead of using PCCPs, make the inner ring road one-way with a contraflow bus lane. This is illustrated at: http://www.smartertransport.uk/buses/#map3
  8. Develop an equitable road pricing scheme.

Response from City Deal to SoPRA’s initial representation

Communication

Thank you very much for offering to distribute copies of our information leaflet to residents in your area, we would be happy to provide you with 1,000 copies as requested. [We will arrange collection.] We will also be offering leaflets to other residents associations and community groups, through FeCRA, to distribute around Cambridgeshire.

People with disabilities

We acknowledge that the Access & Capacity Report does indicate that “Disabled drivers would not be exempt” from control point access restrictions. Although this is the current proposal, we welcome the views from respondents on this proposition. We will be investigating detailed exemptions once we have these views, after the engagement period.

Health and Social Care

You raise some important concerns, which we are well aware of. Delivering care to people is really important for the County Council so we will be working with colleagues across the Council and with their providers to ensure that we are able to maintain this vital service.

Private Hire Vehicles

We acknowledge that not everyone will be aware of the distinction between hackney and private hire taxis. This is an area where more work is needed and discussions with stakeholders and operators will be essential to develop our plans as we move forward.

Potential rat runs and impassable crossings

We acknowledge that we need to work with residents, employers and stakeholders to consider the detailed implications of the proposed PCCPs, particularly with regard to potential rat runs. Over the coming months we will be undertaking more detailed modelling to test the impacts of the PCCPs and refine the proposals to minimise rat runs and develop any supporting measures that may be required. We will work with local communities to develop any necessary mitigation measures to address these issues. And will also develop complementary proposals for reallocating road space to pedestrians and cyclists.

Bus lanes

There has been no intention to mislead people about the links between these proposals and those for bus and cycle improvements on the radial routes. We are producing some more maps for the exhibitions boards which will help to show the links between the different schemes and will put these on our website when ready.

Brookgate (CB1 station development)

New buildings on station car park

Update November 2017: Brookgate are holding another exhibition, where they will reveal revised plans for “an Aparthotel with Multi Storey Car Park for Network Rail and Office accommodation for the rail industry with Hostel use on the ground floor and above”.

Exhibition: 3-8pm, Wednesday 29 November 2017 at Brookgate’s offices at 2 Station Place, CB1 2FP. Contact: Laura Fisher (01223 559 546).

Previous proposal – now abandoned?

  • Block B2: multi-storey car park (207 spaces over three split-level floors) plus four floors of apartments, alongside the Ibis hotel and cycle park (B1).
  • Block F2: apartments, between four and six stories high, backing onto Ravensworth Gardens.

View PDF of revised plans (10MB).

Devonshire Quarter aerial view
Artist’s impression of plans for blocks B2 and F2 on station car park
Blocks B2 & F2 on station car park
Artist’s impression of superseded plans (FOR REFERENCE)

The outline planning consent for what was originally planned for B1 & B2 was to be four stories high. What has been built is, in effect, seven stories high. B2 will be still taller.

Building heights Outline consent Proposed now
Block B2 18m max 19.3m + 1.6m plant area
Block F2
(station end)
15m max 19.3m
(inc 2.8m top floor set back)
Block F2
(middle section)
not specified 13.3m
(inc 2.8m top floor set back)
Block F2
(Ravensworth Gardens end)
 9m max 10.5m + 1.7m plant area

The distance between the middle section of F2 and main building line of Ravensworth Gardens is 16m on upper floors and 12.3m at ground floor. The gable end of Ravensworth Gardens is 4.6m away from the northern section of F2.

The distance between B2 and F2 is 15.1m, which comprises 6m for the road, 4.8m pavement in front of F2, and 4.3m in front of B2. At the southern end, a loading bay will reduce the pavement width outside F2. There are no parking bays.

By comparison the distance between the buildings on Great Northern Way at ground level is 16m and 13.3m on upper floors. The road width is 5.5m.

The Chisholm Trail cycle/walking route will pass between blocks B2 and F2, and across the station square. According to Bidwells, “the Station Square has been designed as a ‘shared surface’ and cyclist will be able to cycle across this space.”

Discussions are still ongoing about where over-ranked taxis and rail-replacement buses will queue. Currently they use the car park, but this will not be possible once Blocks B2 and F2 are built.

Brookgate are proposing that, during construction of blocks B2 and F2, access to the car park (the 200 spaces north of Carter Bridge) will be from Devonshire Road.

Our concerns

We are deeply concerned that Brookgate has already pushed the envelope on what they have built to date, adding floors and mass to create what most people are describing as ugly, characterless blocks.

We need to call a Development Control Forum to gain an opportunity to present our case to the planning committee before they decide on the application, which is likely to be submitted in early January 2017. Please get in touch if you can help organise this (collecting a petition and making a presentation).

Please use the comment box at the bottom of the page to submit additional concerns.

References in brackets are to paragraphs of the officer’s report on the original outline planning application.

Height and mass of buildings

  • B2 and F2 are too tall and massive, far beyond what was proposed at outline planning.
  • The original multi-storey car park building (B1) was meant to have a maximum height of 18m (8.277), but what is proposed is 19.3m excluding plant, and 20.9m including.
  • The outline planning consent refers to F2 being up to three storeys high, 15m at the southern end and 9m adjacent to Ravensworth Gardens (8.271 & 8.277). The officer was hesitant to support an application for a building even as tall as three storeys (8.466), yet what is proposed is effectively 4½ to 6½ storeys, with a height ranging from 10.5m (plus 1.7m of plant) to 19.3m.
  • F2 will overlook and overshadow Ravensworth Gardens to an unacceptable extent.
  • F2 and B2 will loom large over the modestly-sized buildings on the corner of Devonshire Road.
  • The buildings’ design lacks character and sense of place (‘a piece of Croydon in Cambridge’).

Landscaping

  • Alongside the access path from Devonshire Road there used to be a row of mature hornbeams. These were all removed to widen the path. The plans show just one tree being planted here. Reinstatement of a screen of trees is greatly needed to reduce the visual impact of the car park, bridge and buildings beyond.

Transport

  • The original officer’s report indicated that F2 would be set back from the road by 5m (8.288). What is proposed is a 4.8m setback, reduced for a considerable stretch by the inclusion of a loading bay (the need for which is not disputed).
  • With all car traffic being funnelled along one road, it will be much more difficult for people walking and cycling to cross the road. The artist’s impressions show no cars, yet there will be in the region of 1,000 vehicle movements every day, with high peak flows.
  • Greater segregation between motor vehicles and people cycling is desirable for the safety of the many people expected to use the Chisholm Trail to travel to and from the station, Addenbrooke’s and Trumpington.
  • Where will over-ranked taxis and rail-replacement buses queue?
  • The new cycle park will inevitably reach its capacity (just over 2,800 spaces) within the next few years (it is estimate to be running at about two thirds of capacity now). Where will people park cycles then? It is imperative that the station area is future-proofed with space allocated for more cycle parking when needed, ideally as an extension of the existing cycle parking building (which the open-sided design allows).
  • There is a great need for an all-day short-term cycle hire facility for visitors arriving at the station. Currently there is nowhere planned to accommodate this.
  • Accessing the car park from Devonshire Road during construction is completely unacceptable. The corner of Devonshire Road is already an unsafe crossing point without the additional conflict created by vehicles entering and leaving. Devonshire Road is not wide enough for two cars to pass, and therefore will not be able to take the extra traffic flow, leading to gridlock.

Section 106 obligations

  • More homes will place an additional burden on local GP surgeries, schools and roads. How is this being accommodated?
  • No new public green space or other amenity is being provided, even though Petersfield ward is severely deficient in these respects.

Contacts

If you have questions about the plans, please contact Laura Fisher at Bidwells (01223 559546). If you have any questions about the comments on the plans please contact Sarah Dyer (01223 457153), the lead planning officer for this development .

Other notes

Brookgate have indicated that the two buildings originally planned for the north side of the cycle/footbridge (G1 and G2) will not be built if B2 and F2 go ahead.

The Planning Committee gave consent on 3 June 2015 for a new cycle link path to be built through the ‘green’ space alongside the Carter Bridge ramp. This entailed the loss of all but two of the pine trees, which have been replaced by semi-mature trees (about which we were not consulted). Thanks to Cllr Richard Robertson for pursuing this and speaking on our behalf at the planning meeting, though ultimately it was to no avail: council officers believed this was the only viable option, despite obvious flaws and local opposition. Planning application: 13/1041/S73.

The contact at Brookgate to call if you have a question or concern is Alan Barrett, Project Manager, on 01223 465762.

Devonshire Rd

20 Devonshire Road (Carlyle House)

Normally the residents association doesn’t get involved in domestic planning applications, but 20 Devonshire Rd is a ‘feature house’, being the largest single home on the road. Its redevelopment is therefore likely to be of interest to the wider public.

The purchaser is a developer who plans to renovate and subdivide the house and workshops into four one-bedroom flats, a two-bedroom flat, and a one-bedroom maisonette. The front elevation will remain largely unchanged.

It is unclear how many of the the flats will count as new properties, and therefore how many occupiers will be eligible for residents parking permits; the developer believes it will be three; a council officer indicated it will be none.

Planning consent was granted on 5 October 2016.

See planning application (Reference: 16/1281/FUL)

See detailed plans

If you have any questions, please contact Kieran Mahon at kieranmahon(at)hotmail.co.uk.

Mill Road Butchers

The Mill Road Butchers on the corner of Mill Road and Devonshire Road is being redeveloped, with the out buildings on Devonshire Road being converted into two maisonettes.

mill-road-butchers

See planning application (Reference: 15/0823/FUL)

See developer’s website

4 Devonshire Road

A planning application has been approved for alterations to the community hall (mosque) on Devonshire Road.

Of particular note is the following (in the Design and Access Statement):

The anticipated uses will include the following, but will not be limited to those uses, as the intention is that the building should respond to the needs of the local community:

  • Youth activities (sports, games, computer access and training, etc.)
  • Mother and toddler groups
  • Educational activities
  • Sports groups
  • Skills training
  • Facilities for older people
  • Counselling
  • Community events
  • Creche
  • After school clubs

See planning application (Reference: 15/0542/FUL)

Speedwatch & speed indicator

We now have an active SpeedWatch team, organised by Nicky Massey. We also now have a Speed Indicator Device, which shows drivers their speed when it exceeds 20mph. These are effective ways to reduce speeding.

Any resident interested in being involved in Speedwatch or in helping look after the speed indicator device, please contact us.

Speedwatch sessions conducted so far have identified a large number of speeding vehicles, including taxis. The police are notifying vehicle owners and taxi licensing authorities.

The Speedwatch scheme allows the public to get actively involved in monitoring the speed of vehicles travelling through their neighbourhood. The scheme is run by the force alongside the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Road Safety Partnership. It is about educating motorists in the law in relation to speeding and monitoring any trends in speeding in neighbourhoods.

Volunteers are trained to use speed indicator devices which displays vehicle speed. The registered owner of any vehicle seen exceeding the speed limit is sent an advisory letter from their local neighbourhood policing team, explaining that speeding is unacceptable to the local community.

A data recorder or TME (traffic measuring equipment) will be deployed before the scheme starts, and then 6 months afterwards. This will provide a good indication of how effective the scheme is.

If you are, or are thinking about being, a volunteer, please read the Community Speedwatch guidance notes. If you have any questions about the scheme, please email CambridgeSpeedWatch@cambs.pnn.police.uk.

Please note that the police do not recommend filming drivers speeding. The police are unlikely to act on evidence gathered in this way and advise that you should have regard to your own safety.

Tenison Road traffic calming

Tenison Road is open at last!

One element of the scheme is still unfinished: the pedestrian crossing just to the north of Canon’s Green. The Traffic Regulation Order passed was for this to be a zebra crossing (black-and-white stripes on the ground, and Belisha beacons on each pavement). However the descriptions and drawings relating to this feature are inconsistent, which has led some residents to believe that there was to be an ‘informal’ not zebra crossing at this location.

The Cambridge Joint Area Committee, met on 14 March 2017 and voted to complete the crossing as a full zebra, with Belisha beacons and white zizag lines either side (where it is illegal to park). Details of the beacons are being worked out with officers.

Retained for reference

Karen Lunn (lead council officer) provided this update on 9 November:

The programme to finish the work will now be as follows.

Monday 14 Nov: Complete kerb works

Tuesday 15 Nov: Complete all surfacing and begin dismantling fencing and clearing site.

Wednesday 16 Nov: Apply resin sealant to block paving & begin tree pit works. Complete road marking

Thursday 17 Nov: Complete resin sealant, remove heras fencing from site, continue tree pits. Off hire storage container.

Friday 18 Nov: Finish final clearing of site, road sweeper to give final sweep to area. Reopen Tenison Rd. Any remaining tree works can be done with local TM and will not require the closure.

We are still awaiting an installation date for the Zebra crossing from BBLP.

We realise that Tenison Road normally forms part of the diversion route for the Remembrance Sunday road closure on Hills Road so we have arranged an alternative route.

Karen Lunn provided this update on 19 October:

The current plan, weather permitting, for Monday 24th and Tuesday 25th October is to resurface the carriageway between Mill Road and the Canon’s Green feature. There will be no vehicular access to this length of the road for the duration of the work and therefore no provision for parking along it. Eurovia have been liaising with residents and businesses to give them forewarning.

The work will be quite intense and noisy during this time for which we apologise but given the nature of the work is unavoidable. In order to complete the work as quickly as possible Eurovia are working to a very tight timetable that relies on everything running to plan. The intention is that they will work from 8am until 6pm on Monday. Work undertaken after 5pm will be of a quiet nature. Providing there are no hiccups with the weather, machinery breakdowns or availability of road resurfacing material you will have access to this length of road will be restored on Wednesday morning.

This work includes the reconstruction and resurfacing of the two sections of carriageway between the features. With regard to the issue of pavement overhaul that Richard mentioned we are replacing the concrete slabs along the footway on the north-west side of the road so that the footway will be level as it is rather uneven at present. On the opposite side of the road we resurfacing the footway over the extents of the features. The resurfacing of St.Barnabas Road does not form part of this scheme.

The bulk of the scheme should be completed by November 11th. To follow on from this will be the installation of the trees and Zebra crossing. It is recommended by the tree providers that the trees are not lifted from the ground until November which coincides with the end of their growing season. Balfour Beatty Living Places who will be installing the Zebra crossing have only just provided me with a cost estimate for the work so I am waiting to hear from them as to when they anticipate the installation work will take place.

Work on the long-planned traffic calming measures on Tenison Road started on 4 March, but was immediately interrupted by the need to replace a Victorian water main buried just 18″ below the road surface.

Tenison Road is closed between Mill Road and the junction with St Barnabas Road, and will remain so until 18 November 2016. This entire section of carriageway will be rebuilt and parts of the footway resurfaced.

Revised timetable

Dates Location of works
Until project end Compound at northern end of Canon’s Green
4 – 25 July Mill Rd to Felton St
21 July – 5 August Felton St to Wilkin St
4 August – 2 September Wilkin St to Canon’s Green
26 August – 26 September Mill Rd to Bolton’s Warehous
26 September – 5 October Outside King’s Church
26 September – 11 October Junciton at north corner of Canon’s Green
11 October – 18 November Mill Road to Canon’s Green

Updated construction phasing plans & timetable (3MB PDF – out of date)

Road closure

Tenison Road will be closed to through traffic between Mill Road and St Barnabas Road for the duration of the work. A diversion route from Mill Road to Station Road will be signed via Gonville Place and Hills Road. This only affects through traffic coming from the city end of Mill Road (which should not use Covent Garden or Devonshire Road as an alternative to Tenison Road). Traffic from Romsey can continue to use Devonshire Road, and traffic from the station can continue to use St Barnabas Road.

See detailed plans (3MB PDF, as amended in December 2015)

Devonshire Road

The scheme for the corner of Devonshire Road is postponed until the station works are finished.

Redevelopment of Mill Road Depot

Update 3 July 2017: A public exhibition of plans for the site will be held at St Barnabas Church on Wednesday 19 July between 3pm and 6.30pm. The developer is Cambridge Investment Partnership, a joint venture between Cambridge City Council and Hill, a commercial housebuilder.

The City Council depot site off Mill Road (next to the railway line) is due to be redeveloped for housing. A planning and development brief (known as a Supplementary Planning Document or SPD) has been published, following consultation and adoption by the City Council.

The planning and development brief will help guide the re-development of the site for housing in accordance with the emerging Cambridge Local Plan 2014. It outlines the aspirations of the site, as well as the key issues, constraints and opportunities that will influence how future development on site will take place.

 

Find out more

2016 AGM

The 2016 Annual General Meeting was held on Tuesday 3 May in the hall at St Paul’s Church on Hills Road. Minutes will be published in due course.

Links to matters mentioned in the meeting:

Chisholm Trail

The Chisholm Trail is a new cycle and pedestrian route proposed for funding by the Greater Cambridge City Deal. It will run between the existing train station and the new (‘Cambridge North’) station at Chesterton, and will provide residents of Petersfield a quicker and safer route:

  • Under Mill Road, re-using ‘spare’ railway arches under the bridge. There will be a new cycle/footpath from Mill Road to the station car park, running alongside the railway lines.
  • To Ditton Meadows and Stourbridge Common, via a new tunnel under Newmarket Road at the Leper Chapel.
  • To Cambridge North station, Cambridge Business Park and Cambridge Science Park, via a new bridge over the Cam, next to the existing railway bridge.

Map of Chisholm Trail

A public consultation on the route runs until 30 November.

SoPRA’s response to consultation

We are strongly supportive of the Chisholm Trail as it will provide considerable convenience and safety for residents of South Petersfield and visitors. Not having to cross Mill Road at the busy and dangerous crossing at Devonshire Road and Kingston Street will be a particular relief to parents with young children (many of whom attend St Matthew’s Primary School to the north). For residents who work at the business parks on the northern fringe of the city, cycling to work will become considerably more attractive.

Of particular relevance to us are the connections to the western route from Devonshire Road and Mill Road, which are not clear from the diagram. Will there be access:

  1. via the existing steps from the south side of Mill Road bridge?
    (This would be highly desirable for pedestrians.)
  2. from the access road off Devonshire Road just to the north of the Travis Perkins site?
    (This would be useful for residents on that access road and at the top of Devonshire Road, and for visitors to the pub.)
  3. from Angus Close?
    (This would be useful for residents living in Devonshire Road north of the station car park entrance.)

Also, what will be the marked route for cyclists and pedestrians through the station car park? Will this be sufficiently clear to drivers, cyclists and pedestrians? There is likely to be a large volume of cycle and pedestrian through-traffic, so this will need to be monitored carefully.

Meeting with officers

A meeting with council officers Liz Waring and Patrick Joyce is arranged for 21 December. This will be an opportunity to review and discuss the route and connections with Mill Road, Devonshire Road and the station car park. Anyone interested in attending, please meet at 42 Devonshire Road at 10am.