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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Room 1 & 2, The Guildhall, Market Square, Cambridge, CB2 3QJ. View directions

Contact: Toni Birkin  Committee Manager

No. Item


PRE-APPLICATION BRIEFING BY THE DEVELOPER - West's Garage site, 217 Newmarket Road.

The site lies at the corner of Newmarket Road and River Lane. It is has been occupied since the 1950’s by a motor vehicle business.

The site is not allocated in the Cambridge Local Plan (2006), nor in the Cambridge Development Plan 2014 Draft Submission. It does however, lie within the area of the Eastern Gate SPD, and within the Eastern Gate Opportunity Area in the Draft Submission.


The site falls outside any conservation area, but the boundary of the Riverside section of Central Conservation Area runs along the western and northern boundaries of the site.

The applicants intend to come forward with proposals to remove all of the existing buildings on the site and to redevelop the site for student accommodation.


It is intended to re-develop the site in line with the Eastern Gate SPD in terms of the scale of the building and to provide in the region of 200 student rooms for occupation by students of one of the cities two universities together with recreation space and associated landscaping.


The current scheme has been developed following a previous refusal of planning permission at the site for the erection of new student housing (202 study bedrooms) and associated communal facilities, cycle parking, and external landscaping following demolition of the existing buildings.  The application (ref 14/1154/FUL) was refused at planning committee in May 2015.  The 6 reasons for refusal related to:

·        Height/massing and relationship with the Corner House public house.

·        Relationship and sense of dominance to River Lane properties.

·        Impact on properties on Godesdone Rd (sense of dominance and design)

·        Poor amenity for future occupants

·        Lack of occupancy restriction to students.

·        Lack of S106 contributions provision for open space, sports facilities and public art.


Since the refusal of planning permission, significant changes have been made to the design and layout of the scheme to address the previous concerns and the agents/applicants have also engaged with the local residents.


This briefing is intended for officers and the applicants/agents to update Members on progress to date and to discuss the key issues ahead of submission for a formal new application.




Councillors Blencowe, Hipkin, Johnson and Smart



Lisa Lamb – Principal Planning Officer (Chair)

Lorraine Casey – Principal Planning Officer



Justin Bainton – Januarys (Planning Agent)

Paul O’Connell (Architect)

Christian Davis -  Three Sixty Developments



Declarations of Personal or Prejudicial Interest:





The Chair explained the role and purpose of pre-application developer presentations to Councillors and the format of the meeting. She referred to the guidance contained in the agenda.  


Presentation by the Developer Team


Justin Bainton provided a brief summary of the proposal, which seeks to redevelop the site for student accommodation (195 bedrooms) and that the scheme has been developed since a previous proposal for student accommodation on the site was refused for 6 reasons. JB explained the agents are aiming to submit an application in December 2015.


Paul O’Connell provided an in-depth explanation of the current scheme and how it has been developed to respond to the previous reasons for refusal. A number of images were shown of the proposals including floor plans, elevations, perspectives, and viewpoints.  He referred to the site having two separate contexts – River Lane (2-storey domestic) and Newmarket Road (5-6 storey commercial). The proposed development is intended to act as a bridge in scale of the two contexts, and seeks to split up the mass of the building into two separate blocks. Compared to previous scheme, the building has been set further back from River Lane and reduced in scale to 2-storey adjacent to the western boundary. Proposals to provide a landscaped treatment to the Newmarket Road/River Lane corner are currently being developed.


POC explained, with regard to the neighbour amenity impacts, that the window positions are designed to prevent overlooking of adjacent dwellings. There is a minimum of 40m from first floor windows in the west elevation and rear of properties in Godestone Road and there are no gable windows directly adjacent the western boundary. A shadow study has been undertaken which purports to demonstrate the development would not give rise to unacceptable shading of adjacent dwellings. In terms of the amenities of occupiers, the current proposal includes increased bedroom widths compared to the previous scheme.


JB advised that, at this stage, the intended occupier of the development would be ARU. He also explained that the proposal was discussed at the Council’s Design and Conservation Panel on 7/10/15 and that the response was generally positive (6 amber and 2 greens). A management plan would be submitted as part of the application. It is intended the site would be managed 24 hours and there would be a designated community contact based on site.


Member questions and Developer responses


Cllr Hipkin – does the corner building contain student accommodation?


Paul O’Connell – confirmed not at ground floor, upper levels only


Cllr Johnson – Commended the work done on improving the concept compared to previous scheme but queried: