Yes. Talking, with other older adults, about shared interests. On your telephone. Not Zoom. Not Microsoft Teams. Not FaceTime. Not WhatsApp. Not Skype.
Just your telephone. Landline or mobile. And it’s free! But registration is required.
COPE(Cambridgeshire Older People’s Enterprise) is delighted to announce the latest series of TALKING TOGETHER, a new initiative that brings older adults together for engaging and stimulating conversations about topics of shared interest. This free programme offers weekly telephone-based discussion groups which are joined from the comfort of your home. No special technology is needed, just your own telephone. Each group, scheduled for 45 minutes, is facilitated by skilled leaders with whom participants can share their ideas, opinions and experiences.
Do you know an older adult who doesn’t have internet access who would enjoy these phone chats? Or someone (perhaps yourself) who just prefers a chat?
Take a look at the full leaflet by clicking either of the images above.
You and/or your friend can register by filling in the form, and posting it to: COPE, St Luke’s Community Centre, Victoria Road, Cambridge CB4 3DZ (If you don’t have access to a printer, just write your details on a sheet of plain paper.)
Another guest post from Valerie Neal, a Friend of St Matthew’s Piece
🌳🌳🌳 THE THREAT
An insurance claim at 193 Sturton Street (a new-build approx 25 year old property) blames clay shrinkage subsidence on three 125-year-old trees. A planning application has been submitted for the felling of these three trees.
Objections would be most helpful by Monday 20th February, but will be accepted after that date.
Scroll down for possible grounds to use in your objection.
🌳🌳🌳 THE ESSENTIAL BACKGROUND
Last summer, Cambridge City Council’s Planning Committee refused permission for these three precious trees to be severely cut back in both height and spread. The harm to the trees was judged not to be justified by the evidence. More information was required. (More here in this earlier post: St Matthew’s Piece Trees – Under Threat. Especially useful are the soil moisture deficit graphs.)
Instead: the applicant has now submitted a new application (23/0119/TTPO) to fell the three trees (or to install a ‘root barrier’ along part of Sturton Street). Their scanty documents fail to address even the reasons for refusal last summer.
However, this time, the applicant has also given a bit of information on an alternative to felling or pruning, namely a ‘root barrier’. They have shown one aerial photo for the possible location of a root barrier and obtained one quote for the cost of delivering this. See pp. 10-11 of the applicant’s Addendum Report On A Subsidence Claim Arboricultural Recommendations under the ‘Documents’ tab for 23/0119/TTPO on the Planning Portal.
Each of these 125-year-old Plane Trees has a Tree Preservation Order (TPO), and is in our Conservation Area.
Changes to a Conservation Area require public benefit to outweigh public harm – but there would be zero public benefit from felling these three trees, only massive public harm.
These trees are vital to the wellbeing of every person who lives, works or studies in our community.
The applicant has not shown what harm now exists at the property… and completely failed to demonstrate how the “slight” cracks previously reported are due to the trees – rather than poor foundations, shoddy construction or “thermal movement” in the modern brickwork.
If the applicant is convinced that the trees are harming the property, then the Planning Committee could permit them to install a good-quality root barrier, if done without significantly harming the trees.
The applicant (or owner of the property) must pay for the root barrier. Due diligence required them to take into account trees that had been present for 100 years before this property was constructed.
BS5837:1991 (applicable at the time of construction of 193 Sturton Street) described the then British Standards on trees and construction.
The relevant National House Building Council standards document (section 4.2 Building near trees 4.2.7 Foundations in shrinkable soils) is illustrated below. Note the NHBC advice: Root barriers are not an acceptable alternative to the guidance given.
The majority of the ‘Standard References’ listed on p.12 of the applicant’s Addendum Report On A Subsidence Claim Arboricultural Recommendations were already published before the construction of 193 Sturton Street, so should have been taken into account.
Local residents have been fighting to protect and conserve local amenity and environmental assets via Friends of St Matthew’s Piece since 30thApril 2020 – and, before that, via Petersfield Area Community Trust, since 1998). We stand on the shoulders of the giants who, 100 years earlier, in 1898 had established St Matthew’s Piece. This included planting the magnificent London Plane trees that provide all of us with such wonderful benefits today. Read more on the history of St Matthew’s Piece, on the St Matthew’s Piece Timeline 1890–2020.
Cambridgeshire County Council advertised, on Monday 28 November, a Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) to close Mill Road bridge to all motor vehicles, except buses, cyclists, emergency services, taxis and blue badge holders. The public have until midnight on Friday 6 January, to make comments and objections on the TRO. A TRO is required to implement the traffic restrictions.
Wait… There have already been two consultations? Three? All of which were overwhelmingly positive regarding the modal filter on Mill Road? And now we need another consultation? What am I missing here?
The TRO is part of the legal process so open to public comment but not a consultation in the same way. It asks people for objections and other comments relating to the order. All objections must specify the grounds on which they are made.
Between June 2020 and early August 2021, Mill Road bridge was temporarily closed to most vehicles under an Experimental Traffic Regulation Order (ETRO). The closure was part of a government-funded scheme to help people socially distance and encourage walking and cycling during the Covid pandemic. When the order was removed and the bridge re-opened in summer 2021, the Highways & Transport Committee asked the Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP) to review and consult on options for Mill Road to promote active travel and tackle air quality and congestion.
The GCP consultation, which included focus groups of key stakeholders and two public workshops, showed that there was a desire to see traffic reduced while maintaining access for those who need it, including people with disabilities and taxis. There was also a wish to see the environment enhanced along Mill Road, including improving the public realm.
After reviewing the consultation, the Highways & Transport Committee at its meeting on 12 July this year agreed to introduce a Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) to reinstate the modal filter on Mill Road. The Committee was clear the TRO should include new exemptions, allowing blue badge holders and taxis over the bridge.
Statements of support, or objections to the proposal, together with the grounds on which they are made or any additional comments, must be sent in writing to: Steve Cox, Executive Director: Place and Sustainability c/o Policy and Regulation Box Nº D8E Huntingdon Highways Depot, Stanton Way HUNTINGDON PE29 6PY or by email to email@example.com by midnight 6th January 2023 quoting reference PR0872
Mill Road in Cambridge […] could be fantastic. It used to be fantastic. But these days it is just […].
As a destination it should be a vibrant, exciting, diverse place where people visit, shop, can spend time on the street, and enjoy the cultural and culinary influences of dozens of nationalities and ethnicities represented there. What it is instead is a car sick urban canyon, narrow, noisy, chokingly polluted, and too dangerous to walk or ride on.
And the kicker is, nobody drives between shops there. There’s a car park at Parkside, another at Gwydir Street but nobody can possibly drive between the shops. The traffic that destroys Mill Road isn’t bringing money to the local traders, it’s taking money through Mill Road to the City Centre. Traffic on Mill Road exists at the expense of traders there.
Trinity Investment Management (not connected to Trinity College) acquired the Grafton Centre in 2022, and are now consulting on changes to the centre that keeps a smaller number of shops, retains the gym and cinema, but converts much of the building into laboratories for science research.
The proposals include:
Reducing the number of shops to reflect the growing number of empty units at the centre – but retaining some retail and leisure, including the cinema and gym, alongside improved public spaces around the centre
Improving the connectivity for cyclists and pedestrians, restoring some of the historic connections that were blocked when the Grafton Centre was built
Repurposing as much of the existing structure as possible – to limit disruption to neighbours and minimise the amount of carbon-intensive demolition and construction
Delivering much-needed research space for promising science start-ups – a sector which is growing and needs more lab space across the city
Whilst this post is open for comments, and readers are welcome to debate the issues around the proposed development, this does not guarantee thatTrinity Investment Management will be able to engage with them on this platform.
In June 2022 we held our first stage consultation on our proposals for The Beehive Centre at which we outlined our principles for development and asked for the local communities input to create a scheme that brings social value and tangible benefits to the local area and Cambridge.
The consultation was well attended and we heard and captured a wealth of insights and ideas from local people about what you value about The Beehive Centre today, and what you would like to see in the future. This feedback has informed our updated proposals which we are ready to show you at our upcoming consultation.
We strive to work with the people of Cambridge to reimagine a key strategic site, embracing sustainable and inclusive design through a vision to the creation of a new local centre with accessible, green and useable spaces to strengthen Cambridge’s status at the forefront of the science, technology and innovation sector.
four communications on behalf of Railpen
Thursday 24th November – 2:30pm to 6:30pm Friday 25th November – 2:30pm to 7:30pm St Barnabas Centre, (Old Schoolroom) St Barnabas Church, Mill Road, Cambridge CB1 2BD No prior booking required.
The digital consultation webinar will take place on Wednesday 23rd November – 6:00pm to 7:00pm
To register your interest for the digital consultation, the QR code on the PDF can be captured with your smartphone/tablet. Otherwise it resolves to: https://qrcodes.pro/nPGeLI.
Many of you will be aware that Railpen, who invest the Railways Pension Schemes’ assets, will be redeveloping the Travis Perkins site adjacent to Devonshire Road for long-term tenanted residential accommodation, and that, whilst this has been broadly welcomed by the community, some of the details of Rail Pen’s initial plans were felt to be in need of improvement. Of course, this is an entirely different project to the Beehive Centre, but we’ve referenced it to give context on Rail Pen.
Whilst this post is open for comments, and readers are welcome to debate the issues around the proposed development, this does not guarantee that four communications or Railpen will be able to engage with them on this platform.
Put the date Saturday 3rd December 2022 in your diary.
Mill Road Winter Fair is run entirely by volunteers. Could you become one of the fabulous team of people who give just two hours of their time to help steward on the day of the Fair, Saturday 3rd December 2022?
Have you seen Mill Road’s very own rock garden just outside Ditchburn Place?
Transforming a hitherto derelict pocket of land by the entrance gates to Ditchburn Place, the Mill Road Rock Garden has been developed by local resident Fiona Smith and volunteers from the Mill Road Fringe, and is brought to you thanks to Love Mill Road – the charity which nurtures and celebrates the Mill Road community – and the generosity of Scotsdales Garden Centre.
Over the last few months local community groups, including Ditchburn Place residents themselves, have been painting rocks which are featured in the recycled frames. You can spot all sorts of different designs from slogans of encouragement, to cartoon characters to birds and animals and flowers. The Rocks are painted in acrylic paint and sprayed with varnish to keep them from fading.
Rock painting has been around for centuries but saw a revival during lockdown. It is something which is accessible to everyone and at every age. Rock painting has been proved to support mindfulness with positive benefits for mental health. It is also a great family activity.
Besides the residents of Ditchburn Place, Mill Road based Lifecraft, The Edge Café and Romsey Mill have taken part. From further afield Rowan Humberstone – Arts centre and forest school for adults with learning disabilities – Arts and Minds – using the arts to help people living with mental health challenges – and Cambridge Manor Care Home have all painted rocks for the garden. Mill Road Fringe thanks everyone involved including the volunteers who have put it all together. The site awaits its permanent sign which we hope will be designed by someone with local connections.
There is room for the garden to grow!
Just help yourself to one of the blank stones near the end by the gate, bring it back once you’ve painted it and place it in one of the frames. If you know of a group that would like to take part, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Displaying the rocks at Ditchburn Place will enhance the local environment and improve a piece of land that was previously barren. It is visible, so people walking along can enjoy looking at them and long lasting, as we can encourage anyone in the community to add their own rock. We hope it will be a feature of interest along Mill Road for everyone to look out for and enjoy.