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18/1002/FUL - 211-213 Newmarket Road

Meeting: 17/06/2019 - Planning (Item 3)

3 18/1002/FUL - 211-213 Newmarket Road and 2 Godesdone Road pdf icon PDF 340 KB

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The Committee received an application for full planning permission.


The application sought approval for the demolition of existing buildings at 211-213 Newmarket Road and the construction of a hotel (C1 use), with change of use and conversion of 2 Godesdone Road to C1 use, and provision of associated infrastructure. 


The Committee received a representation in objection to the application from a local resident. 


The representation covered the following issues:


  i.  Following a survey undertaken in March 2019 only 3 out of 325 respondents regarded the development as a good idea

  ii.  There were numerous shortcomings within the officer’s report that omitted facts and was therefore misleading.

  iii.  The proposed development represented the third large budget hotel to the existing cluster that were within 100m of one another.

  iv.  Planning permission for the other 2 hotels was granted before the new local plan was adopted which contained location and quality criteria which were grounds for refusal of planning permission. 

  v.  The development would distort the local area with a high density of budget hotel rooms when housing should be a priority. 

  vi.  Attention to the local plan and national guidance regarding sustainability was deficient. The cumulative impact of the development was a relevant consideration that was absent from the officer’s report.


Mr Garth Hanlon, (Applicant’s Agent) addressed the Committee in support of the application.


A written statement prepared by Councillor Nicky Massey, (Abbey Ward Councillor) was circulated to the Committee.


Councillor Richard Johnson, (Abbey Ward Councillor) addressed the Committee and raised the following issues:


i.  The new hotel and change of use was not justified in the proposed location.

ii.  The application was based on two assertions. Firstly, that demand for hotel rooms was higher than anticipated in 2012 when detailed hotel demand modelling was undertaken (Hotel Futures report) which underpinned the local plan and secondly that the proposed hotel was a new category of ‘super budget’ hotel that was not  considered in 2012 and therefore represented new demand.

iii.  The Hotel Futures report modelled three scenarios; high, medium and low growth and then calculated the number of rooms required to meet the demand for each scenario.  The high growth scenario applied higher demand rates than those the applicant had used within the planning application to claim new need. 

iv.  The Hotel Futures report forecast leisure growth at 4.5%p.a however, the applicant had forecast only 3.8%p.a and that business growth would be 2% p.a compared to the applicant’s forecast of 1.7%p.a.

v.  The New Premier Inn at the Grafton Centre would mean that provision of hotel rooms would far exceed the projected demand. 

vi.  The forecasts contained within the Hotel Future’s report that underpinned the Local Plan should be adhered to.

vii.Recent analysis had demonstrated a weakening of the market and an excess of supply of rooms.

viii.Drew attention to the competition in the market from Airbnb that was not considered within the officer’s report or by the applicant. 

ix.  Questioned the rationale that the hotel represented a distinct new hotel category (Super-budget). 

x.  The impact upon the local area was unjustified. 


Councillor Haf Davies, (Abbey Ward Councillor) addressed the Committee and raised the following issues:


i.  The environmental impacts would be unacceptable should planning permission be granted.

ii.  The number of bedrooms on a fairly small site represented very high intensity use which could only be achieved by excavating a basement level and no provision for amenity space.

iii.  Pre-application advice contained concerns of the case officer regarding over development stating that the intensity of the proposed use would not be appropriate for the site. 

iv.  Proposed drainage for the development was not sustainable as it required constant pumping and questioned whether planned mitigation would be effective.

v.  There would be a severe adverse impact on air quality resulting from approximately 76 arrivals and 76 departures daily from the hotel based on estimated occupancy rates. 

vi.  The application did not support objective 3 of the Council’s Climate Change Strategy to reduce emissions from transport by promoting sustainable transport, reducing car travel congestion, and encouraging behaviour change.  The proposed site was located in an air quality management area it was also an air pollution hotspot. 

vii.  Questioned the accuracy of the traffic movement forecasts undertaken by the applicant. 

viii.A 90 room hotel would generate significant noise and disturbance for local residents from taxis dropping off and collecting guests. 

ix.  The lack of amenity within the hotel would result in guests congregating in the street and causing disturbance.


Councillor Whitehead (Abbey Division Councillor for Cambridgeshire County Council) submitted a written statement to the Committee that expressed the following issues.


i.  The applicant’s low estimates of the number of vehicle movements appeared unrealistic and would add to congestion and cause severe harm.

ii.  The application would impact upon road safety as it presented an increased risk of vehicle collision.

iii.The Newmarket Road/Coldhams Lane junction was exceptionally dangerous for pedestrians and cyclists and the application would increase risk.

iv.Overnight parking stress in the area surrounding the proposed hotel that would be exacerbated by the proposed development.


During the course of discussion Members raised a number of concerns regarding the application including, overdevelopment, transport and loss of amenity.


The Chairman established that the application was likely to be refused on being put to the vote and with the agreement of the Committee proposed that Members were minded to refuse planning permission for the following reasons:


i.  The proposed development would conflict with policy 77 of the Cambridge Local Plan 2018 due to location of site partly in a residential road. There was also insufficient evidence submitted that demonstrated the need for accommodation over and above that identified in the Hotel Futures report 2012 on which the policy was framed.  On being put to the vote the reason for refusal was carried 6 votes in favour and 1 abstention.

ii.  Insufficient information had been submitted with the application that demonstrated the development would not have an unacceptable transport impact.  The proposal was therefore contrary to policy 81 of the Cambridge Local Plan 2018, notably paragraph 9.22 which aimed to achieve a zero increase or reduction in car traffic in locations including Newmarket Road.  On being put to the vote the reason for refusal was carried unanimously.

iii.  Due to absence of amenities in the proposed hotel and the absence of adequate pick up and drop arrangements on site, the development would result in unacceptable levels of noise and disturbance to occupiers of adjacent residential properties through increased comings and goings and increased numbers of visitors congregating on Godesdone Road and increased vehicle (notably taxi)in the area.  The proposal would therefore be contrary to policy 35 of the Cambridge Local Plan 2018.  On being put to the vote the reason for refusal was carried 6 votes in favour and 1 against.


Following officer advice the Committee unanimously resolved to move a ‘minded to’ resolution to refuse planning permission contrary to the officer recommendation for the reasons set out above.