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Agenda item

21/00264/FUL - Blocks B2 & F2 Devonshire Quarter Devonshire Road - 14.15pm


The Committee received an application for full planning permission.


The application sought approval for erection of two new buildings comprising Class E(g)i/E(g)ii floorspace including ancillary accommodation/ facilities with associated plant and cycle parking for Block F2 and an Aparthotel (Class C1) with multi-storey car park for Network Rail, including car and cycle parking, for Block B2 with associated plant, hard and soft landscaping and permanent access from Devonshire Road to the Cambridge Station Car Park, utilising the existing pedestrian and cycle access, restricted to emergency access to the railway only.


The Area Development Manager updated his report by referring to updated condition wording 9 and 11 and the addition of condition 9a on the amendment sheet. (Amendments shown with strike through and underlining/italics.)


Proposed revised condition 9


9. Behind One Station Square, a 3m wide zone to enable cyclists to pass and connect to Station Road from Great Northern Road shall be maintained at all times. The bollards, trees and benches as shown on plan ref: MMD-217382-C-DR-10-XX-5028 P1P2 shall be replaced with cycle friendly alternative bollards at minimum 1.5m spacing, trees and benches relocated prior to the occupation of either B2 or F2, whichever is the sooner.


Reason: In the interests of providing a high-quality cycling link through the CB1 areas (Cambridge Local Plan 2018 policies 25, 56, 57, 59 and 80).


Proposed additional condition 9A


9A. Prior to the commencement of development of B2, a Taxi Management Plan (TMP) shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority. The TMP shall include:

a.  ­Transitional arrangements for the management of over-ranked taxis within the CB1 locality displaced by the B2 building, including arrangements for the provision of on the ground marshals (number, time, duration and location), enforcement scope and monitoring.

b.  Permanent arrangements and their phased implementation to assist with the management of taxi arrivals and departures from Station Square including reasonable endeavours to utilise ANPR technology and to develop a digital application for use by taxi drivers. It shall include monitoring provisions.

c.  The results of stakeholder engagement which has informed the proposed transitional and permanent arrangements as per a) and b) above.


The permanent arrangements set out in the approved TMP shall be subject to a TMP Review, submitted to the local planning authority immediately following the expiry of one year following the commencement of development of B2. It shall include the results of any monitoring, consultation with stakeholders and suggested revisions to the TMP as appropriate. The TMP and any revisions thereof shall be implemented in accordance with the approved details prior to the commencement of development of B2 and shall continue to be implemented for the lifetime of the development.


Reason: In the interests of encouraging the effective management of taxis within the CB1 area (Cambridge Local Plan 2018 policies 25, 56, 57, 59 and 80).


Proposed revised condition 11


Great Northern Road Zebra Crossing

11. Prior to the occupation of the F2 building, the proposed zebra crossing to the immediate west of the Great Northern Road mini-roundabout as shown on plan reference MMD-217382-C-DR-10-XX-5027_P7 shall be provided as part of the public realm improvements unless the outcome of a Road Safety Audit indicates that it should not, in which case an alternative scheme shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority and provided within the same timescale. The final positioning of the crossing should be located as close to the eastern termination point of Great Northern Road as allowed for through the outcome of the road safety audit.


Reason: In the interests of high safety (Cambridge Local Plan 2018 policy 80).


The Committee received a representation in objection to the application from the Chair of South Petersfield Residents Association:

  i.  Block B2 height and mass

a.  Queried justification for overstepping outline plan footprint by 7 metres? This appeared purely operational, not justified in planning terms.

b.  Out of scale with 2 storey homes on Devonshire Rd and Devonshire Mews, and by comparison with F2.

c.  Application would be prominent in views along Devonshire Rd from Mill Rd.

d.  Would provide no amenity to local community.

e.  Architecture was wholly unremarkable, with no heritage connection as a gateway from the Mill Rd Conservation Area.

  ii.  Displacement of over ranked CCLT taxis

a.  The fact that the station masterplan envisaged removal of over ranking in the station car park does not absolve the applicant of responsibility for the impacts of removing this facility.

b.  Station Area Development Framework required waiting capacity for 30 taxis.

c.  Outline plan required:

  i.  20 spaces in the taxi rank (only possible if vehicles queuing to enter the rank are also counted).

  ii.  8 taxi pick up/set down bays.

  iii.  16 private vehicle pick up/set down bays.

  iv.  5 disabled parking bays.

  v.  2 disabled drop off bays.

d.  Proposed taxi management plan refers to: “Manage the initial transition when the existing surface car park is decommissioned (to allow construction of B2).” This will be an issue beyond the “transition period.”

e.  Expressed concern over the size of area affected by ‘taxi waiting’. This covered the station area and nearby roads such as Tenison Avenue, Devonshire Rd, behind One Station Square and Mill Park.

f.  Took issue with the proposal that the operation of the taxi rank will be monitored on a regular basis and any operational issues raised with the stakeholder group.

  iii.  Future proofness of B2.

a.  Multistorey car park likely to be required for extension of cycle park.

b.  Applicant argues convertibility is not a material consideration. Planning policy supports our view that it is, and therefore should be conditioned as such.

  iv.  Cycle route

a.  Commended the Applicant on engaging closely with residents to design and refine a protected cycle route between Devonshire Rd and Station Rd.

b.  Details are still needed for:

  i.  Changes to Station Rd, e.g. to the County taxi rank.

  ii.  Replacement of speed bumps on Mill Park Rd.

  iii.  Consistent route signage.

c.  A protected route through Station Square was still needed for those travelling to the station, local shops and bars; and also living in or visiting the Railyard student accommodation.

  v.  Great Northern Rd

a.  Maximum delivery vehicle sizes must be agreed and enforced to avoid unnecessary danger to people walking and cycling especially through the space behind One Station Square.

b.  With the loss of parking spaces on Great Northern Rd, the remaining spaces need to be re designated for deliveries and short stay parking (to better serve residents of the road).

  vi.  Great Northern Road mini-roundabout

a.  The walking route in front of F2 would be busy.

b.  Suggested moving the pedestrian crossing away from the corner of Sainsbury’s and closer to the mini-roundabout.

c.  Suggested raising the crossing and tightening corner radius out of Station Square to keep vehicle speeds low. Alternatively, please create a conventional side road crossing arrangement.


Mr Derbyshire (Applicant’s Agent) addressed the Committee in support of the application.


Councillor Robertson (Ward Councillor) addressed the Committee about the application:

Cycle route

A safe space was required for:

i.  A cycle route during construction.

ii.  A cycle route across the service yard which had a turning head for lorries. Queried if the turning head could be retained if a (3m) cycle lane went through it.

iii.  Cyclists and pedestrians between buildings B2 and F2.


iv.  The car park should be adaptable (including access ramps and parking spaces) so it could become cycle parking in future (if there was demand).

v.  A link would then need to be installed between the upper floor of the car park and the cycle park to facilitate entry/exit.

vi.  Current cycle parking was not secure. Future parking facilities should be.


vii.  B2 was still too big and would dominate Devonshire Rd housing. The application was different to what was given permission in outline planning permission.

viii.  B2 should not be built closer to Devonshire Rd housing.

ix.  F2 building first and higher floors stopped the planting of trees as the floors overhung cycle routes. The ground floor had been cut away to allow space for cycle routes.


The Committee:


Unanimously resolved to grant the application for planning permission in accordance with the Officer recommendation, for the reasons set out in the Officer’s report, subject to:

  i.  the planning conditions set out in the Officer’s report and amendment sheet.

  ii.  delegated authority to officers, in consultation with the Chair, Vice Chair and Spokes, to draft and include the following minor, non-significant amendments to those conditions and/or significant amendment or additional conditions.

Supporting documents: