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Decision details

15/2372/FUL - Citylife House, Sturton Street

Decision Maker: Planning

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No


The Committee received an application for change of use.


The application sought approval for change of use from the permitted use as a studio/cafe/bar/multimedia education centre and community facility (sui generis) granted under permission 97/1020 to general education use within use class D1, including alterations to eastern & southern elevations, external landscaping and reconfigured cycle parking.


The Committee noted slight changes to the proposed conditions as outlined by the Principal Planning Officer.


The Principal Planning Officer suggested that, having deferred application 16/1272/S73, it might be prudent to also defer this application.


The Committee received representations in objection to the application from the following:


Representative of Peterfield Area Community Trust:

     i.        Peterfield Area Community Trust was formed following the loss of this building as a community building.

    ii.        The proposed future community use of this building is unclear.

   iii.        Intended occupier has made positive comments but proposal lacks details.


Local resident:

     i.        Had concerns over community use.

    ii.        Policy 5.11 addresses community use and proposals do not address this.

   iii.        Community use is not a minor matter and as there is currently no provision, it is important to the community.

  iv.        Members need to see what they are agreeing to.

   v.        The path of this application has been a catalogue of errors.

  vi.        The Community Access Agreement has been delayed for 4 months.

 vii.        Major problems still exist.

viii.        It would be unsafe to agree application today.

  ix.        A pause would be a valid option.


Resident of Edward Street:

     i.        Conditions need to be resolved.

    ii.        1997 application contained conditions regarding the open space.

   iii.        The application needs something about maintaining the open space and protection of the trees and plants.

  iv.        A car park maintenance plan is needed.

   v.        Conditions 4, 7 and 9 are flawed.

  vi.        Professional advice is needed regarding the acoustics.

 vii.        Clarity is needed over condition 7 and the designation of a language school.


Julian Curry, Applicant’s Agent, Elizabeth Nantais and Guy Ballantyne of CSVPA addressed the Committee in support of the application.


Councillor Robertson, Cambridge City Council Ward Councillor, addressed the Committee regarding the application:

     i.        There has been a long history of concern over this building.

    ii.        Community have previously taken action to protect the space.

   iii.        It is valued as a community asset.

  iv.        It could be lost to the community for ever.

   v.        The area lacks facilities.

  vi.        The current applicant would make good use of the space but this could change in the future.

 vii.        The Community Access Agreement is currently poor and needs to be re-drafted.

viii.        The Committee needs more time to consider the latest proposals as they contain contradictions.

  ix.        Application should be deferred.


Councillor Walsh, Cambridgeshire County Council Ward Councillor, addressed the Committee regarding the application:

     i.        Policies 4.2 and 5.11 require that this application be deferred or refused.

    ii.        Without permission paths had been installed across protected open space.

   iii.        There was strong support in the area for community access and local provision within this building.

  iv.        Applicant had been bullish in their approach.

   v.        Bodywork had not been given access to the building.

  vi.        5.11 could allow the building to become an educational establishment and the community access could be lost.


Councillor Blencowe proposed and Councillor Smart seconded deferring the application on the ground of the unresolved issue of the plant and to allow a detailed Community Access Agreement to be submitted.


The Committee:


Resolved (by 6 votes to 0 and 2 abstentions) to DEFER to allow submission of details of roof plant visual impact mitigation measures and Community Access Agreement prior to determination of the application.

Publication date: 05/01/2017

Date of decision: 30/11/2016

Decided at meeting: 30/11/2016 - Planning

Accompanying Documents: