Douglas Higgins, Project Director at First Base, writes
Dear Sir or Madam,
I am writing to introduce First Base and our emerging proposals for a new mixed-use neighbourhood in Cambridge.
We would like to invite you to our planned public consultation and associated workshops to help inform our plans.
The site, currently a Travis Perkins depot, is located on Devonshire Road, close to Mill Road bridge and is five minutes’ walk from Cambridge station. Travis Perkins will be relocating to a new state-of-the-art branch in Cambridge, providing an enhanced offering to its customers.
First Base – with RPMI Railpen (the investment manager for the railways pension scheme) – acquired the site earlier this year. We have already started discussions with local stakeholders to help guide our plans for a modern mixed-use quarter, comprising homes, workspace, leisure, and community spaces, arranged around new public gardens. The development – which aspires to be largely car free – will include a dedicated cycle hub and will create new pedestrian and cycle routes linking it to the station.
As part of our wider discussions with stakeholders and other interested groups, we are launching a digital public consultation on these proposals running from 09.00 on Monday 30 November until 21.00 on Sunday 13 December 2020, providing the local community with an opportunity to view our initial ideas for the site and share any comments and feedback.
This information is available here, on the dedicated Devonshire Gardens website. In addition, the consultation is being promoted across social media and in the local press, with newsletters posted to residents in the surrounding area and a freephone telephone number provided for questions and queries 0800 130 31 31.
We will be hosting a series of public webinars during this period, which will include a live, online presentation by – and Q&A with – members of the project team.
The first workshop was:
Topic: Character and Sense of Place
Date: Wednesday 2nd December 2020 (12.30-13.30)
Location: Zoom Meeting Platform (Online)
Read Charlotte de Blois’ review of the first two Zoom meetings here.
We are also running workshops on Walking, Cycling and Active Travel and Liveability, Health and Open Spaces. Please do let us know if you would also like to attend either of these.
These workshops will provide us with a deeper understanding about issues and opportunities relating to the site itself and how it relates to the wider neighbourhood and beyond. As such, we would greatly appreciate your insights. All workshops will be recorded and uploaded to our website if you are unable to participate in the live session.
If you would like to attend any of the above sessions, please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will send you a welcome pack with more details. Alternatively, if you would prefer to discuss the scope of these sessions over the phone, we would be happy to arrange a convenient time to speak with you.
In addition, if you would like to be put in touch with a particular member of the project team regarding our proposals for the site, please mention your interest within your RSVP and we will contact you to arrange a conversation.
In the meantime, if you have any questions specifically relating to our upcoming consultation, please do not hesitate to get in touch.
Douglas Higgins, Project Director at First Base
Liam Ronan‑Chlond, Stakeholder & External Relations at First Base adds:
In addition, you may be interested to know that we are also researching the current Mill Road offer to better understand the local character, in a short exploratory survey here.
Further indicative sketches and details of First Base’s aspirations for the Development can be found here, on the First Base website.
Whilst this blogpost is open for (polite) comments, please note that these will not form part of First Base’s consultation, nor will the Cambridge City and South Cambridgeshire Joint Planning Service be able to take into account any views expressed here, when a planning application is, eventually, submitted.