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Venue: via Microsoft Teams

Note: If you have any questions regarding the briefing please contact planning@greatercambridgeplanning.org 

No. Item




Declarations of Interest


Pre-Application Briefing by the Developer - (Beehive Shopping Centre, Coldhams Lane, Cambridge) pdf icon PDF 208 KB

Approx: 15:00 – 16:00


Site Context:

The site is currently in use as a retail park and features a range of retail operators undertaking a mix of convenience / comparison retail, and food and drink (with takeaway), leisure and community uses including: Wren, TKMax, Asda, M&S Food, Porcelanosa, Hobbycraft, Pets at Home, Everlast gym fitness club, Gymfinity Creche, Costa Coffee and Subway. The retail park is served with 885 car parking spaces with a vehicle access from Coldhams Lane.


The site is not subject to any policy designations within the Cambridge Local Plan 2018. However, some of the existing uses provide important facilities for surrounding residents and those in the wider City. The site adjoins the Mill Road Conservation Area, and is outside of but in proximity to the Eastern Gate Opportunity Area.


The site is identified as an Opportunity Area within the Emerging Draft Greater Cambridge Local Plan. Policy SO/A/BC states that “The New Opportunity Area proposed is low density, large-scale retail uses with extensive surface car parking. This does not make very good use of an expansive area of land in the heart of Cambridge. With changes in retailing and the increase in online shopping, when taken together with the Local Plan themes of addressing climate change and creating Great Places, these sites have the potential to provide a significant opportunity for reimagining this area close to the heart of Cambridge”.


Proposal Description:  

The proposals comprise redevelopment of the site to create a business district for technology and life science sectors. Office / laboratory / research and development floorspace proposed on upper floors, with ground floor uses including retail, restaurant, and community uses to provide active frontages.


The proposals are currently in outline form and comprise a series of development blocks ranging in height within a network of connected streets, spaces and public realm.


Vehicle access to the site is proposed from Coldham’s Lane and a car parking barn is proposed with the centre of the site, leaving remaining streets for pedestrian / cycle / servicing access only. Pedestrian / cycle accesses into the site are proposed to be retained from Sleaford Street, York Street and St Matthews Gardens. Landscape proposals intend to create a range of public space character areas including: wetlands, biodiversity enhancement / tree planting, community food growing / orchards, play on the way, public activity / performance space, as well as facilitating the proposed Chisholm Trail cycle route through the site.


The proposals also include a sustainability vision for the site which aims to address main issues around climate change, biodiversity, health and wellbeing. Buildings are intended to achieve BREEAM ‘excellent’ as a minimum with potential for some to achieve BREEAM ‘outstanding’.    


Planning History:

The current Beehive Centre was granted planning permission in 1992 (ref: C/92/0324). Since this consent there has been a number of applications for signage, merger / splitting of retail units, installation of mezzanine floorspace, installation of plant and machinery, and planning applications / Certificate of  ...  view the full agenda text for item 3.

Additional documents:

Councillor attendance

Whilst any subsequent planning application relating to this site will be determined by the Planning Committee, all Councillors are invited to attend and take part in this pre-application developer presentation.


Purpose of the meeting

These meetings allow developers an early opportunity to present proposals for future planning applications to elected members of the Council.


The process allows Councillors to feed into the process at an early stage and raise any questions or concerns that can then be addressed by the developer prior to a formal planning application being submitted.


Whilst the meetings will be held in public, they do not form part of the formal decision making process. All planning applications will be determined in line with formal processes as adopted by Cambridge City Council.  


Format of the Meeting

For each Briefing:


·       Introduction by the Head of Planning Services or a Senior Planning Officer – up to 10 minutes


·       Presentation by the developer of the proposal – up to 30 minutes


·       Opportunity for Members to ask questions, raise issues, seek clarification, comment on the apparent positive and less positive aspects of the proposal – up to 40 minutes


During this part of the meeting it is important that Councillors who may ultimately make the decision on any subsequent planning application do not feel unduly constrained by what they can ask or raise. However they should avoid expressing views that might give any appearance that they are approaching the proposal with a closed mind. The discussion should not be used for negotiations with the developer. These should take place with officers separately from the meeting. Members of the public must refrain from entering into the discussion at the meeting.


·       Summing up – up to 10 minutes


A Planning Department representative will take notes of the meeting, which will be a summary of the proceedings. Nothing said by Councillors at the meeting will in any way be binding on the Committee that subsequently determines the application. The notes will be uploaded to the City Council’s website upon completion.