“These images are like a nightmare”

Image of the proposal from the developers’ website

Friends of St Matthew’s Piece say, “The building is completely out of scale with its surroundings and shows no respects for the local community”

A proposed building that would tower over a Cambridge park is far more intrusive than developers’ illustrations show, say campaigners.

It would dominate the entire area around St Matthew’s Piece and throw neighbouring houses into deep shadow, new 3D images demonstrate.

“These images are like a nightmare,” says Janet Wright, a supporter of Friends of St Matthew’s Piece. “You can see this monstrosity crouching on top of the existing building, overshadowing ordinary little houses and filling the view from the Piece.”

Architectural projections skilfully woven into a newly released video [above] reveal the proposed student housing block, more than 19 metres tall, looming over St Matthew’s Piece. Local campaigners have likened the building, intended to house more than 100 students, to a ‘spaceship’ or ‘monster’.

“The building is completely out of scale with its surroundings and shows no respects for the local community,” says a local resident who has contributed key architectural skills to the production of this dramatic video. 

The video was made for Friends of St Matthew’s Piece by Mill Road TV. It marks the 122nd anniversary of the day the park was given to local residents “for ever”. Friends of St Matthew’s Piece celebrated the anniversary (23 June) with a socially distanced gathering, while calling on other local residents to join them in protecting the Piece.

Developers Federated Hermes have not yet put in a formal planning application, but have circulated their proposals to hundreds of local residents.

Press release from Friends of St Matthew’s Piece dated 6th July 2020

Friends of St Matthew’s Piece can be contacted on Facebook, by email on Friends.of.st.matthews.piece@gmail.com, followed on Twitter or Instagram.


See also Mill Road Bridges’s posts Residents object to St Matthew’s Piece development and Protect St Matthew’s Piece.


This post is open for (polite) comments.


6 thoughts on ““These images are like a nightmare””

  1. Knock it Down and Build Somewhere Else
    The best thing (?) would be for the council to buy up some land further out of town, grant itself planning permission to build on that land, then swap it for the bit of land on St Matthew’s Piece, allowing that building to be razed, the green expanded back to how it should be, and the developers to do what they like with the other bit. I’m sure this sort of thing has been done before, there’s probably a name for it…

  2. If it would over-shadow the houses nearby. What effect will it have on the green space? I’m guessing it would be in almost permanent shade with something that tall towering over it.

    1. Technically, as the sun is at a different angle and inclination throughout the day, and throughout the year, no.

      However, there is substance to your complaint, albeit in a slightly different way.

      All buildings create shade, causing the ground and air temperature to be cooler. On the other side of the building is warmer air and warmer ground. This will create a local wind, which is exemplified by the effect you may experience on a hot day, when you open all the doors of a house, from front to back, one or another door will slam. This effect is multiplied the taller the building.

      This is in addition to how such a construction would dominate the landscape in an inappropriate way.

      1. [Not sure how I managed such dreadful punctuation on my post.]
        Thanks for that. It’s not a winning design however you look at it.

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