Planning Application – Former Sally Ann’s

Caro Wilson writes:

Please do take the time to study the details of the planning application and add your comments.

A recent view of the former Sally Ann’s shop, Caro Wilson

Readers may not be aware that before 44a Mill Road was the Sally Ann’s shop it was Fine Fare, Cambridge’s first self-service supermarket.

Fine Fare, Mill Road, courtesy of the Cambridgeshire Collection, from the Capturing Cambridge website

Before that it was The Playhouse, Cambridge’s first purpose-built cinema.

Playhouse c1936, from the Capturing Cambridge website

Do take note of its pedimented roof line and do go and take a look at the side wall where generations of children waiting for the Saturday film show carved their initials and made holes in the brick work with their copper pennies.

Side wall August 2015, photo by Simon Middleton, from the Capturing Cambridge website

Read all about the history of this important building 44a Mill Road on the Capturing Cambridge website, compiled by members of the Mill Road History Society

Your comments on the planning application on the Greater Cambridge Shared Planning portal could help to persuade the owners of this site to preserve as much as possible of its important heritage.

See also Redeveloping the Mill Road Playhouse Cinema, 26th September 2020, on the Lost Cambridge blog.

Whilst you may add comments below, these will not be seen by officers of the Greater Cambridge Shared Planning partnership, nor be taken into consideration by the Cambridge City Council Planning Committee.


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Martin L-S
Martin L-S
30 December 2020 18:38

Cambridge City Council have approved this, as expected: details here.

The Decision Notice contains a rather weak ‘informative’ (not a condition):


1 As per request from the Mill Road History Society, the graffiti and coin holes on the west elevation which date from the building’s historical use as a purpose built cinema on the west elevation should be retained where possible.

Martin L-S
Martin L-S
3 November 2020 20:47

One of the two co-related applications has been withdrawn, for some reasons:

Reference: 20/03427/FUL

Proposal: The installation of anti-ram raid bollards and Sheffield Cycle Stands. Site address: 44A Mill Road Cambridge CB1 2AS

Further to previous correspondence relating to the above matter I write to inform you that the applicant has asked for the application to be withdrawn. Accordingly, we have stopped all work on processing the application and no decision will be made. There is no right of appeal against such a decision.

What happens next?

The applicant may choose to re-submit this or an amended application to us at a future date. We will notify you again if such an application is submitted. 

Martin L-S
Martin L-S
Reply to  Martin L-S
3 November 2020 20:48

/some reason/ , I meant.

Martin L-S
Martin L-S
18 September 2020 18:42

This looks like it is from Aldi. The company making the planning application seems to do a lot of work for Aldi.

Martin L-S
Martin L-S
Reply to  Martin L-S
8 January 2021 17:51

A Co-op rather than an Aldi it seems:

“I was about to assume it’d be yet another “Luxury apartments in the heart of Cambridge…”, so I asked one of the builders working there earlier and he said it’s going to be a Co-op supermarket. As it used to be Fine Fare in the 70s it’s a good reinstatement for the building.”

See this Mill Road History Facebook post, here.

See also this post on Capturing Cambridge for a fuller history of this building. – Web Editor.