We can now report that the application has been withdrawn. See the text of the letter (below) from Luke Waddington, Planning Officer, Greater Cambridge Shared Planning.
Cambridge City Council Application for Planning Permission
Why you have received this letter
Proposal: Demolition of existing HMO and construction of 7 no. replacement 1 bedroom apartments and 1 no. restaurant
Site address: 60 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relating to the above matter, I write to inform you that the applicant has asked for the application to be withdrawn.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.
Tracking future applications
Through our web site you can save searches on specific criteria such as a property address or mapped area, you can then choose to receive updates by email when new applications are submitted meeting your criteria.
Authored by Linda Jones, Emeritus Professor of Health, The Open University (also former Cambridgeshire County Councillor for Petersfield Division in Cambridge) the report highlights Cambridge residents’ dissatisfaction, with fewer than 6% happy with their experience as a pedestrian.
Nearly every respondent mentioned the state of the pavements themselves, with nearly 3/4 of respondents complaining about pavements blocked by parked vehicles. Cambridgeshire County Council have had powers for over a decade to tackle the issue of vehicles obstructing our pavements. And it wouldn’t put a penny on the council tax – enforcement would be self-financing as penalty charge revenue would help to pay the salaries of the existing enforcement officers.
Week of Action Monday 12th July – Sunday 18th July 2021
The Living Streets organisation is hoping to map some of the obstructions that clutter our pavements throughout this week. Can you help to highlight the problems which pedestrians face in and around Mill Road?
If you can, please take some time, during the week, to record the locations of misplaced or broken street furniture and guard rails, A-boards cluttering narrow pavements, badly located bike racks, disused phone boxes, traffic signs or street lamps in the middle of pavements and other obstruction. Enter those details in the simple map provided, together with a photograph if you can take one.
However… Traders are permitted to place sign-boards, produce stalls, tables and chairs on their forecourt area. Often the only way to distinguish between the footway and the forecourt is a line of paving blocks. Take a look at the annotated photo, below.
Cambridge City Council’s consultation is open from 2nd July to 15th August 2021.
Litter has been a long-standing problem for Cambridge, as the photo and linked article, below, illustrate.
Tidying litter costs us all a lot of money every year, so maintaining a cleaner, greener Cambridge is a priority in Cambridge City Council’s Corporate Plan. It’s unrealistic to expect a completely litter-free city, but the council want to significantly reduce it and increase re-use and recycling.
The council are developing a litter strategy, which will cover the management of litter on streets and open spaces. It will include flytipping and street sweeping.
Cambridge City Council need to hear your views on litter and the litter-cleaning services they provide. This will help the council to shape future priorities and recognise what they do well and where they could make improvements.
It would be great if Mill Road area residents respond. Whilst many respondents may focus on the city’s more well-known open spaces – like Parker’s Piece, Jesus Green and Midsummer Common – along with the historic city centre, we need to make our local needs known.
Mill Road Cemetery has its own problems, as do Romsey Rec, Coleridge Rec and St Matthew’s Piece, But what about our side streets? Is your side street near to a take-away? Does each morning bring a regular harvest of discarded drinks cans, expanded polystyrene boxes and part-eaten food? Does it suffer from fly-tipping?
The survey should take about 15 minutes, and you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that you’ve been a good citizen by taking part, and, as a bonus, you can enter a prize draw for £100 of vouchers at the end!
The survey closes at midnight on 15th August 2021. You can contact email@example.com if you have any questions about it or the council’s work to prevent litter. They can also provide a printed version of the survey if you know someone without internet access who would like to participate.
Plans have been submitted to the Greater Cambridge Shared Planning service for the complete demolition of the Bibimbap House Korean Restaurant building and the residential accommodation above and behind it. If approved, the existing three-story building would be replaced by a five-storey building, with an additional basement.
This post is open for comments, but please remember that nothing published on our website can be considered by the City Council’s planning committee. You are, however, welcome to use this space to encourage others to submit their own comments on the planning portal.
Former Bharat Bhavan Temple carvings in old Mill Road Library “to be taken down and skipped”
Piero, Mill Road Traders Association Ambassador, writes…
I am launching an appeal to save this beautiful carved stone being skipped.
These pictures are from the former Bharat Bhavan Temple located in the Old Library on Mill Road.
Since the County Council got it back in its possession, there has been work set in progress to restore the fabric of the building, unfortunately all this carved stone is destined to be taken down to be skipped. I feel that this a completely sacrilegious act to destroy such beautiful work.
I believe it is worth at least £80,000 as it took thousands of hours of work from many sculptors from India and was shipped all the way to Cambridge.
I am appealing to Cambridge City Council and Cambridgeshire County Council to use those carved stones in a memorial, I already have in mind three locations in Mill Road where it could be placed as a memorial.
We must protect diversity and cultural identities in Mill Road. We haven’t got much time as work begins on Monday 29th March.
The cost for it to be taken down professionally and stored is only £3,000. Mill Road Traders Association can contribute part of the cost but we’d like the community to encourage the authorities to support this project. Mill Road Traders’ Association have also set up a crowdfunding page Save Bharat Bhavan carvings on Mill Road on GoFundMe with a target of £3,250.
UPDATE 1 (Sunday 4th April 2021) We have reached the target – thank you! Every additional £ we receive now will go towards the important task of re-homing this piece of Cambridge heritage and not just safely dismantling and storing them.
UPDATE 2 (Saturday 10th April) We have had so many emails and phone calls from people who want to help and we are very thankful to you all!
The funding goal has been raised to £6000 to reflect the installation costs of the carvings, which may also include a heritage plaque telling their story, as well as lighting which changes colour for specific events such as Diwali or the Mill Road Winter Fair. You have all made this happen, with people in Mill Road, Cambridgeshire, and across the country pitching in to help – but please keep passing on our message as every £ helps!
(It is possible that this number may rise again, but every £ donated helps us do more to save, preserve, and respect this piece of Cambridge heritage.)
Note: as of Friday 23rd April 2021 at 17:30 the money raised stood at £5,260
Cambridge Independent, Friday 23rd April 2021, by Alex Spencer
Beautiful carvings from a former temple that were sold to a Cambridge hairdresser by the county council for £1 could be worth as much as £500,000. Read the full article, here.
Our Web Editor adds… For those wishing to learn more about the background to the library, the temple and its repossession by Cambridgeshire County Council please read on and explore the links below.
The library was built by Cambridge City Council, but passed to the ‘new’ Cambridgeshire County Council under the two-tier reorganisation brought in by The Local Government Act 1972 on April Fool’s Day 1974.
For a brief history of Mill Road Library, click the image above.
For how the reasons behind the County Council’s repossession and the current work, see Debbie Luxon’s report and Frank Gawthrop’s comments.
The Indian community organisation that took over the library were granted a 25 year full repairing lease on a peppercorn rent in exchange for maintaining the building fabric. This building which is grade 2, listed was considered a financial liability to the County so this was seen as a zero cost way of maintaining the structure.
Unfortunately the lessees did not spend any money on external maintenance in 10 years allowing water to enter the building and cause extensive damage. The City Council which is responsible in law to ensure listed buildings do not fall into disrepair served notice on the County Council about the deteriorating state and the County sent in surveyors who have estimated the repairs to be in the region of £300,000.
The community association having had free rent declined to pay so the County obtained a court order to regain possession. They may have spent a lot of money on carved statues but they have left local council tax payers with a huge bill.
The lease was held by a company limited by guarantee. This is a fairly usual way that community groups take on financial obligations as it protects the members from any personal claims.
Having cost local tax payers in the region of £300,000 I, for one, think enough public money has been spent already on this failed project. If private individuals want to contribute that is fine and appropriate. If these carvings are valuable they are the property of the company limited by guarantee which leased the building. What are the directors doing about this?
On Wednesday 24 March 2021, 10.00 am, deep in cyberspace, Super Matt the super squirrel defeated The Thing From Outer Space!
More prosaically Cambridge City Council’s planning committee held a virtual meeting, in which the application to build a block of student flats on St Matthew’s Piece by developers Federated Hermes was considered.
Of course Super Matt had help from all of the community and Friends of St Matthew’s Piece had massive support for their objection to these plans.
A shoutout to Val Neal who gave a good presentation at the online meeting!
Agnès Aubert, Sleaford Street, on Nextdoor
Would you be able to display Friends of St Matthew’s Piece’s new ‘Refused’ poster in your window?
If yes, please email Email Friends.firstname.lastname@example.org to request a copy of the poster to print out. Or just smile and celebrate every time you pass one in the area! Thank you all for your crucial efforts to protect our park.
Of course, any further attempts from these (or any other) developers may emerge. The community would then choose its response.
Everyone’s support and active contributions to preserving, celebrating and protecting St Matthew’s Piece would be very welcome!
Val Neal, North Petersfield, on Nextdoor
As others have posted out, the developers could appeal or submit a modified proposal, so local residents will have to keep being vigilant.
What happens next?
The applicant now has a right of appeal to the Planning Inspectorate against our decision to refuse this application. The appeal must be lodged within 6 months of the date of this decision. In the event of an appeal being lodged, and if you have previously commented, we will notify you and forward any comments you may have made to the Planning Inspectorate.
The applicant also has the right to re-submit an amended scheme which may seek to overcome our reasons for refusal. We will notify you again if such an application is submitted.
Notification from Greater Cambridge Joint Planning to people who commented on the application
However, the redoubtable Roy Stamp strikes a positive note…
In Romsey Terrace, we found that fighting an appeal made residents more determined: the residents won in the end!
Roy Stamp, Romsey, on Nextdoor
It is difficult to second guess what this multi-national investment fund will do next.
It is possible that when they bought the site from Chard Robinson they were told, based on the previous scheme that was consulted on but was never actually submitted, that there was development potential.
At the planning committee their agent Bidwells claimed that pre application advice given by the planners at that time was positive, but this has little status as it is not binding on the Council. It is a very weak argument and I was surprised it was even mentioned.
The main problem, if they appeal, is the fairly new National Planning Policy Framework introduced by the LibDem Tory coalition government in 2012. This planning directive considerably weakened the power of local councils’ decision-making powers and introduced an overarching presumption in favour of development. It also gave more power to planning inspectors to award the applicants appeal costs adainst local councils.
This happened five years ago in Station Road where the City turned down plans for a massive office block. BrookGate won the appeal and the Council was forced to pay them £175,000. The reasons for refusal in this case by Cambridge City Council are, however, very robust and are taken from the approved local plan so we are in a strong position.
If Federated Hermes are realistic they will give up as, given the strength of feeling, the local Councillors will undoubtably put considerable funds into the defence of the Councils position at any appeal hearing.
Local activist and fount of knowledge on planning, Frank Gawthrop, South Petersfield, on Nextdoor
Helen Weinstein, as Community Historian for IronWorks (former Mill Road Depôt) showcases sources from Sturton Town in Cambridge telling stories of working class residents from the Victorian Era onwards.
In this illustrated talk Helen Weinstein, Public Historian & Director of HistoryWorks, will be introducing a wide range of local history sources and their stories from the Area known as ‘Sturton Town’ in Victorian times which is located just off Mill Road in Cambridge covering Gwydir, Kingston, Sturton, Sleaford, Hooper & Ainsworth Streets.
Based on her recent research Helen will be sharing the stories of Resident occupations from the census in Victorian times and revealing sources in the Archives & material objects in the Museum of Cambridge.
Helen will show participants how to find out about properties and the environment of Victorian Cambridge using well known sources like the 1891 census and the trade directories, sharing examples of the range of stories in newspaper and photography archives at the Cambridgeshire Collection.
Helen also has considerable experience of maps and manuscript sources, and will show histories revealed when you dig deeper into the Cambridgeshire Archives with fascinating stories about the allotments, commons and parks, public health and sanitation, pub and brewery licensing, workhouse and charitable committees to illuminate the hidden histories of individual Victorian streets and their residents.
Bring your questions to the zoom event if you wish. The talk will be hosted by Lucy Walker, Chair of Trustees at the Museum of Cambridge; and Helen & Lucy invite you to ask questions in response to the talk, as well as to share photos, objects or paperwork you’ve found associated with your own house history!
Local history film
If you wish to view an introductory film with a tour of the local history of Sturton Town, presented and produced by Helen Weinstein, click here or on the image above.
The Museum of Cambridge is in need of your help. This event is free to attend, but we’d be so grateful if you can offer a donation of any size to support us to secure our future. Once you have secured your ticket via Eventbrite, you can donate to the museum here.
SIGN-UP NOW TO RECEIVE AN EMAIL LINK INVITE TO THIS FREE ZOOM TALK:
At a time when it is not possible for large gatherings for Remembrance Day because of the pandemic, there are other ways for those living and working around Mill Road to connect and share the memories of how our area experienced wars, past and present.
MARKING 75 YEARS SINCE WORLD WAR II
Helen Weinstein, community historian, is sharing a film with Mill Road Bridges when we are marking with commemorative events this year the significance of 75 years since the end of World War Two. The film takes you on local tour where Helen shows how the residents living around Mill Road experienced bombing in the 1940s.
HistoryWorks has produced a short film to share because (due to the Covid-19 restrictions) all talks & history tours have had to be online. VE Day season and Remembrance Day week in Cambridge has therefore seen Helen Weinstein asked to give talks marking 75 years since the end of World War II sharing research, talks, and a walking tour film.
The film below, presented and produced by Helen Weinstein, tells the story of how Cambridge experienced the bombing raids in World War 2, showing it is a myth that Cambridge was not impacted because there were 50 homes destroyed, 2000 homes damaged, and many deaths and casualties. The film shows how the residents and businesses near the railway line were impacted.
The focus of the history trail film is to visit sites in the area known locally as Sturton Town, linking the Mill Road Railway Bridge to East Road and Newmarket Road. The tour includes the location of the air-raid shelter on Gwydir Street, the bombing of Vicarage Terrace on the night of June 18th 1940, and the Mill Road Bridge bombing on 30th January 1941, taking in the VE day street parties which took place 75 years ago. Helen shares letters, newspaper accounts and eye witness memories of civilian experiences from 1940s Cambridge.
GRAVES OF COMMONWEALTH SOLDIERS
Also recommended, is a visit to Mill Road Cemetery as a place for remembering the dead in peaceful surroundings, in a haven for wildlife and for quiet contemplation . There are many burials of the fallen soldiers in the cemetery.
The CommonWealth War Graves Commission maintain the graves of 33 Commonwealth service personnel from World War I and four from World War II.
While many of us hit the shops for last-minute lockdown supplies this week, volunteers on St Matthew’s Piece were stocking the larder for insects.
Bees and other pollinating insects are essential to the life cycle of plants. But their numbers are plunging as the amount of open land dwindles and their sources of food disappear.
Volunteers from On the Verge Cambridge and Friends of St Matthew’s Piece came together on a sunny November morning to plant the Piece with hundreds of wildflower bulbs. On the Verge Cambridge works with schools and community groups to plant wildflowers in suitable spots, so insects don’t have to fly long distances in search of food.
The group planted anemones, bluebells, winter aconite, wild garlic, crocuses and snakeshead fritillaries, each in a different part of the park. When the flowers bloom, they will provide a rich supply of nectar.
St Matthews’ Piece is currently threatened by developers who wish to build a large block of flats on its northern edge.
“It’s such a beautiful place, with all its stately trees – but developers want to cut some of them down,” said Janet Wright, of Friends of St Matthew’s Piece.
“So many people come here with their children or just to take a walk. From next year on, they’ll be spotting flashes of colour as various flowers start coming up. I just hope they won’t have a block of flats looming over them.”
“Quite a few people walking through the Piece were pleased that we were planting flowers and hoped the planned development wouldn’t be allowed.”