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15/0398/FUL - 8, 10, 10A Cheddars Lane and 351-355 Newmarket Road

25/09/2015 - 15/0398/FUL - 8, 10, 10A Cheddars Lane and 351-355 Newmarket Road

The Committee received an application for full planning permission.


The application sought approval for the erection of student accommodation with 321 student rooms (following demolition of existing buildings), together with ancillary accommodation comprising common/study rooms, porters lodge, laundry room, plant room, bin and bike enclosures, landscaping and associated infrastructure including a sub-station.


The Principal Planning Officer drew Members attention to the lengthy appendices to the amendment sheet regarding this application. He explained the elevations of the site and tabled additional images.


The Committee received a representation in objection to the application from Mr Hair.


The representation covered the following issues:


  i.  Similar plans to develop on industrial sites had been rejected.

  ii.  Alternative mixed use of the site had not been considered.

  iii.  Eleven building, currently used as industrial units, would be lost.

  iv.  Proposal was not responding to an identified need in the area.

  v.  Application was premature as it was submitted in advance of the emerging Local Plan.

  vi.  Student rooms in this area were not wanted by either of the Universities.

 vii.  Large blocks would be situated very close to existing residential accommodation.

viii.  Mitigation measure did not go far enough to make the scheme acceptable.

  ix.  Noise levels would be unacceptable.

  x.  Surface water drainage was insufficient.

  xi.  Parking and in particular, disabled parking, was inadequate.

 xii.  It would be impossible to police a no car policy.


Justin Bainton (Applicant’s Agent)addressed the Committee in support of the application.


Councillor Johnson (Ward Councillor for Abbey) addressed the Committee regarding the application.


  i.  Questioned the accuracy of the images supplied by the applicant and suggested they had used a wide angle lens rather than the 50mm used normally used for such images.

  ii.  Local residents had commissioned an independent study.

  iii.  Buildings would be visually dominant.

  iv.  Revisions had been made to the plan but these were not sufficient to make it acceptable to local residents.

  v.  Properties adjacent to the site already suffered from poor light levels and additional buildings would exacerbate the situation.

  vi.  Building D would be tall and would have a significant impact on neighbours.

 vii.  Buildings E and F would damage existing trees which currently screened the area.

viii.  Noise levels would create conflict and result in loss of amenity value for the area.

  ix.  Proposed communal areas would abut sensitive boundaries.

  x.  Proposed management of the site was insufficient and no evening or overnight cover was to be provided.


Councillor Roberts (Ward Councillor for Abbey) addressed the Committee regarding the application.


  i.  Site not suitable for student housing.

  ii.  Surrounding area described as ‘hostile’ to development.

  iii.  Proposed buildings would be very close to existing homes.

  iv.  Noise would be an issue. Student units would disturb existing residents and industrial units would disturb future student residents.

  v.  Lack of parking, lack of disabled parking and lack of drop off spaces will inconvenience local residents and result in a resident parking scheme being required.

  vi.  A no car scheme would be unenforceable.

 vii.  Visitor parking had not been addressed.

viii.  Proposals were not supported by the target market.

  ix.  Would be unaffordable to Anglia Ruskin students.

  x.  Contractual arrangements make the upfront cost too great for many students.

  xi.  Bidwell’s assessment of the need for additional student housing was questionable and lacked evidence to support the level of need.

 xii.  Site had poor transport links to the City Centre or the Universities.

xiii.  Would be an unsustainable site.

xiv.  Would be a gated community with no links to neighbours.


Councillor Robertson (Ward Councillor for Petersfield) addressed the Committee regarding the application.


  i.  Represented Petersfield Ward which contained Anglia Ruskin University.

  ii.  Liaison meetings with the University suggest that they did not support this application.

  iii.  Students were unable to afford studio flats.

  iv.  This was a speculative student development and would not be used for this purpose long term.

  v.  Would end up being accommodation for language school students.

  vi.  Would not ease pressure on family housing.

 vii.  If approved please add conditions requiring:

·  that it may only be used be students attending Anglia Ruskin University or the University of Cambridge;

·  that any proposal to vary this requirement be brought to Planning Committee (not delegated to officers; and

·  if a variation was approved, 40% of the accommodation must become affordable housing.


Councillor Whitehead (Abbey Ward County Councillor) addressed the Committee regarding the application.


  i.  Density of the site was a cause for concern.

  ii.  Development would be overcrowded.

  iii.  This application, in common with similar application for the West of the City, was motivated by profit.

  iv.  Impact on area would be detrimental to the local community.

  v.  Application does no address an identified housing need.


Councillor Baigent (Ward Councillor for Romsey) addressed the Committee regarding the application.


  i.  The City required more housing and not more student accommodation.

  ii.  Site under consideration would be a key part of wider development of the area.

  iii.  Would result in a lack of light for neighbouring properties.

  iv.  Would be unaffordable for many students.

  v.  Would be costly for the City Council as no Council Tax contributions would be collected towards waste collection or other services to the site.

  vi.  Parking issues would have a detrimental impact on neighbours. 


The Principal Planning Officer confirmed that any variation of conditions would be brought back to the Planning Committee suggested that any additional conditions regarding this were unnecessary. He stated that the site had not been identified for Housing in the Local Plan and that this was not, therefore, a grounds for refusal.


Councillor Blencowe proposed that condition 28 be amended to require that approval of the management plan be brought to Committee and not delegated to officers.


Committee resolved (Nem Con) that Condition 28 (management plan) must be discharged only by Planning Committee and not under delegated powers, this fact to be communicated to the applicant by an informative on the decision notice.


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 report, and subject to the conditions recommended by the officers and including the amended condition.