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19/0175/FUL - Mill Road Depot, Mill Road

Meeting: 17/06/2019 - Planning (Item 4)

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The Committee received an application for full planning permission.


The application sought approval for the erection of an apartment building (45 affordable dwellings), the erection of a mixed use building with community centre and ancillary office and meeting rooms on the ground floor with 4 affordable dwellings above. It also sought the change of use of the Gate House to a mixed use (commercial ground floor (A1/A2/A3/B1/D1 in the alternative) and 1 dwelling on first floor), together with associated external works including provision of open space (including play area), cycle parking, landscaping and demolition of 'link building' attached to Old Library (Grade II listed).


The presenting officer drew attention to the proposed amendments to the application set out within the amendment sheet circulated in advance of the meeting.


The Chairman explained that he would exercise his discretion and consider agenda items 5 and 6 together however, would be voted on separately.  Public speakers would therefore have 6 minutes in which to address the Committee.


The Committee received representations in objection to the application from three local residents.


Resident (1) raised the following issues in her representation:


i.  The height of building B01 was out of proportion with the area and contrary to planning guidance contained within the Supplementary Planning Document (SPD). 

ii.  The development was substantial and the plan for the junction with Mill Road was inadequate and traffic signals were needed.

iii.  Commercial unit B11 was unnecessary as there were plenty of retail units on Mill Road.  In particular there should be no alcohol license associated with the commercial unit.

iv.  There was a conflict of interest regarding Councillors membership of the Cambridge Investment Partnership (CIP).


Resident (2) raised the following issues in his representation:


i.  There was a failure by the Council to apply planning policies including policy 24 and figure 3.10 which covered improvements to Mill Road and access to the development.  There was also inadequate consideration of cycle and pedestrian safety.

ii.  The Council had not adequately considered the heritage asset library under the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).  The library was now closed, unsafe and required substantial renovation.


Resident (3) raised the following issues in her representation:


i.  She had been engaged since April 2014 organising community groups and although community provision had increased during the application there was a huge demand for provision. 

ii.  Capacity of the hall had decreased from the original 150 seat hall that was originally proposed.

iii.  The proposed location of the electricity sub-station was inappropriate and needed to be sited elsewhere. 

iv.  There was a lack of adequate kitchen facilities in the community provision to be able to hold events such as cookery workshops.

v.  The community provision required reconfiguration and therefore the application should be deferred.


David Digby and Fiona Bryant (Applicant) addressed the Committee in support of the application.


Councillor Richard Johnson (Abbey Ward Councillor), Executive Councillor for Housing and Board Member of the Cambridge Investment Partnership (CIP) addressed the Committee about the application:


i.  The development was of strategic importance as there were approximately 2,500 families on the housing register, the provision of new Council tenancy homes was essential.

ii.   The development assisted the Council’s main priority of tackling the city’s housing crisis.

iii.  The devolution deal had energised the process and enable the Council to construct over 500 new council homes.

iv.  In order to meet the commitment the Council had agreed to release its Mill Road depot site. 

v.  There was a commitment that half of the units provided would be for council rent. 

vi.  The housing manager was closely involved in design workshops and the homes meet the M42 accessibility standard and also meet high sustainability standards with low carbon emissions and gains in terms of biodiversity. 

vii.  The community centre was designed to meet BREEAM certificate for excellence.


With the unanimous agreement of the Committee it was proposed that provision of a scheme for boundary treatments prior to the commencement of works above ground be secured by condition. 


The Committee:


Unanimously resolvedto grant the application for planning permission in accordance with the officer recommendation, for the reasons set out in the officer report, and subject to the conditions recommended by the officers.