17 April 2022
Cambridge Green Party has submitted a formal objection to plans to insert two flats between existing buildings on Newmarket Road.
You can view and respond to the planning application on the Greater Cambridge Shared Planning site. This link should take you directly to the application; alternatively you can search for 22/01442/FUL.
The full text of our objection is copied below.
Dear Planning team,
Re: 22/01442/FUL, Erection of 2no flats with associated works and landscaping on unused land behind The Seven Stars Public House | The Seven Stars Public House 249 Newmarket Road Cambridge Cambridgeshire CB5 8JE
I am writing on behalf of Cambridge Green party to register objection to 22/01442/FUL. If permitted, this would be a clear case of overdevelopment.
Development proposed for this plot has been refused several times in the past (including 21/04529/FUL, 20/0053/OUT). The applicant has made minor changes to the proposal, however these do not address the serious underlying issues.
Please reject this planning proposal on the following grounds:
Incompatible with Eastern Gate Opportunity Area vision:
Policy 23 Eastern Gate Opportunity Area: this states that 'Development proposals within the Eastern Gate Opportunity Area … will be supported if they enhance the character of the area, improve connectivity and increase activity'. - Para 3.93: 'The vision for the Eastern Gate area is to reconnect people and places ... opportunities for improving the area by successfully integrating new development and for rediscovering and realising the potential of underused spaces, exist throughout Eastern Gate'. However, this proposal does not enhance the character of the area, it represents overcrowding and overdevelopment, with a proposal that does not represent high quality accommodation, and will cause overlooking and crowding of existing properties, particularly flats at 251 Newmarket Road. This is not consistent with policy 23.
Damaging to local Heritage assets:
This proposal is directly next to a Grade II listed building, 247 Newmarket Road. This is an early 19th century house and is a remnant of the former buildings which fronted onto Newmarket Road. The previous application conservation statement was as follows: The proximity, scale and mass of the proposal at the end of No 247’s garden will have a direct and detrimental impact on the setting in which No 247 is experienced and may also damage the economic viability of the listed building now and in the future.
There is no substantial change to the current application, and thus the same detrimental effect on the listed building 247 Newmarket Road is likely to result. The proposal does not respond to the built context or the character of the immediate built environment. This does not comply with the following policies:
Policy 55 - Reponding to Context
This proposal does not respond positively to context, nor has it drawn inspiration from the key characteristics of its surroundings. The siting, massing, scale and form of this building are all completely not in keeping with the local area, and the proposal should be rejected on the grounds of policy 55.
Policy 57 - Designing New Buildings
Requires buildings to “have a positive impact on their setting in terms of location on the site, height, scale and form, materials and detailing, ground floor activity, wider townscape and landscape impacts and available views;”
This proposal does none of the above, it is damaging to the setting in terms of the relationship to the listed building 247 Newmarket Road.
Policy 61 - Conservation and enhancement of Cambridge’s history
This requires buildings to “preserve or enhance the significance of the heritage assets of the city, their setting…”.
This proposal neither preserves nor enhances the significance of the heritage asset of 247 Newmarket Road, it actively damages the context.
The issues raised by Environmental Health in the previous application (21/04529/FUL) describes issues with noise from the beer garden of the Corner House, which are not resolved with the latest iteration of the application.
Poor Quality housing:
This proposal has each lounge/ kitchen room without any kind of window.
This proposal does not clearly specify where the non-fossil fuel-based heating will be located.
It is extremely likely that more than one occupant will live in each building, with the setup including a small study that could become a further bedroom, which would represent overcrowding.
Lack of access to the properties;
Lack of access to the properties, without use of existing overused access for flats at 251 Newmarket Road (7 flats), and no ability to access the site due to the car park area for flats at 251 Newmarket Road being constantly in use, this would be unreasonable disruption for people living there in the absence of other nearby free on road parking.
Inadequate plan for bins:
There is no clear plan for bin storage for flats at 251 Newmarket Road. The applicant states these might be re-sited and there is a description of places where bins could be located, however residents of 251 Newmarket Road describe that none of the proposed locations are possible, and there is not adequate space in the entry route to the flats. This would therefore cause obstruction.
I urge you to reject this proposal.
Matthew Howard on behalf of Cambridge Green Party