FRIENDS OF MITCHAM'S CORNER
[CORRECTION] Use of Student Castle as apart-hotel – Student Castle has lost its appeal against the Council's decision to not allow this change of use for some of its rooms. The independent Inspector ruled that Student Castle cannot be used as an apart-hotel. Hopefully this sends a clear message to any future developers who might wish to cynically request change of use for student accommodation in the same way.
Last say on Milton Road scheme – The Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP) has released revised plans for Milton Road, and launched a (final?) consultation which runs until 29 October. The proposals still say nothing significant about how the upgraded road and cycleways will mesh with Mitcham's Corner. You can see a summary in the Consultation Brochure, and more information is available on the consultcambs.uk website. Please provide your views on key features of the scheme via the questionnaire. You will be able to see the plans and talk to consultants about the scheme at three events:
GCP will look at Mitcham's Corner – The Executive Board of the Greater Cambridge Partnership has stated that "the GCP would look again at Mitcham’s Corner as part of the next phase of GCP projects, which would link to planning policy work being undertaken by the City Council."
Local Plan approved – The Inspectors reviewing the Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire Local Plans have finally approved them, subject to a number of amendments to details. The Cambridge Local Plan is very likely to be adopted at a Council meeting on 18 October. Policy 21 on Mitcham's Corner, and the more detailed guidelines in the Supplementary Planning Document, will then come into force. This will strengthen the efforts of FMC and others to ensure appropriate redevelopment of Mitcham's Corner, with removal of the gyratory road system.
‘Making Space for People’ strategy. The City and County Councils are working on a new strategy called ‘Making Space for People’ that will set out how public spaces and transport routes (pedestrian, cycle, bus) can be improved. The area of interest is the city centre and a handful of 'Opportunity Areas', which include the Mitcham's Corner area. For more information, see the consultcambs.uk website. You can see people's comments on the interactive map.
Sale of the Tivoli. The Tivoli has been sold to the City Pub Group for a price of around £1.5 million. We do not know the plans of the new owners (who already own The Waterman), but no doubt further proposals for its redevelopment will emerge.
Milton Road Local Liaison Forum. A public meeting was held in June to discuss the "preferred option design" for Milton Road. This did not present any new details on how the scheme will connect with Mitcham's Corner. See the Greater Cambridge Partnership website.
Annual General Meeting. Our AGM was held on 9th May, and the presentations given are available on our Meetings page.
Minecraft Design Workshop. In March, an interesting workshop was run by Architecture post-graduate James Delaney, exploring the use of the online game Minecraft to visualise ideas for the redevelopment of Mitcham’s Corner. You can explore the 3D model developed by participants, which is available on sketchfab.com. This includes some innovative (though not always practical) ideas.
Application to redevelop the Tivoli site rejected. The application by Wetherspoons to demolish the Tivoli and replace it with a six-storey building has been rejected decisively by Council planning officers. The Decision Notice (available here) cites 13 reasons for refusing permission – an unusually high number, reflecting the massively unsuitable nature of the plans. Many thanks to FMC members who sent us their comments, and helped to resist this overblown proposal.
View from front (Chesterton Road)
Parking on pavement near Co-Op. Parked cars have been regularly obstructing the pavement and cycle lane near the Co-Op in Milton Road, and FMC members feel strongly that this is dangerous and unacceptable. Cllr Mike Sargeant is organising double yellow lines from Student Castle to past the Co-Op, and requesting that bollards be placed near the pedestrian crossing to prevent parking on the pavement.
Milton Road Scheme. In November, Committee members attended a Project Group Meeting considering how the Milton Road Scheme will interact with Mitchams Corner. The Scheme now proposes a single bus lane on the east side of Milton Road and a single, two-way cycle route on the west, but currently does not include the section of road between the Gilbert Road junction and Mitcham’s Corner.
However, cyclists would be discouraged from using the route if nothing is done to make it easier and safer to negotiate Mitcham’s Corner. The meeting therefore proposed that the two-way cycle route (along with the other road improvements) should continue up to the gyratory, where a special crossing would be built. Consultation on this proposal is expected soon, and the finalised Scheme will come to Committee in March 2018, when it is expected to get the go-ahead. It will be important for us to provide input, as the Scheme could have a major impact on Mitcham's Corner. We will let you know when the consultation meeting is announced.
Mitcham's Models shown at the Sainsbury Gallery. Some of the Mitcham's Models that were displayed around Mitcham's Corner last year have been exhibited at the Sainsbury Gallery as part of the "Arts at Stowe" event, and attracted considerable interest. The five legs were designed by well-known artist David Mach, and will be auctioned in aid of the children's mental health charity Blue Smile. See the Mitcham's Models Facebook page.
Student Castle's application for use as apart hotel. The City Council's Planning Committee has rejected the application by Student Castle to change part of the site from student accommodation to apart hotel. Student Castle will appeal against the decision.
Redevelopment of former HSBC bank on Chesterton Road. The owners of the site – a local animal charity – wish to redevelop it as retail units plus flats, and their plans are in the pre-application stage. The Committee met with the owners' representative and architects to discuss the initial plans, which are for two shops plus small flats for 8 people. The proposed design, while rather unimaginative, respects the height and character of the neighbouring buildings. The developers will be meeting the City planners shortly, and we will post up more details when they are available.
FMC's Annual General Meeeting was held on 17th May, and if you were unable to attend, a video of the meeting is available at https://vimeo.com/217912683. The agenda can be viewed on our Meetings page.
Revised proposal for redevelopment of 18 Chesterton Road. After receiving the initial, disappointing plans for this site (see below), the FMC committee met with the architects to discuss improvements. We have now seen their revised plans, which we believe are more acceptable though further improvements could be made. Please email us with any comments.
Open meeting on 15th March – The public meeting on "The regeneration of Mitcham’s Corner" was well attended, and included presentations on the Mitcham’s Corner Development Framework, schemes elsewhere, and the views of disability groups, cycling groups, and individuals who have a personal experience of Mitcham’s Corner. We also discussed the low-speed "shared space" approach, which is one of the options being considered. Notes on the meeting are available, and you can get more details on our Meetings page.
More changes at Mitcham's Corner – The pace of change at Mitcham's Corner continues to be high. Following on the arrival of newcomers such as Camyoga and Nicolas Anthony, and the relocation of Radmore's Farm Shop, a number of familiar businesses and landmarks may be disappearing from the Corner or changing ownership.
The final version of the Development Framework for Mitcham's Corner was agreed at a Council meeting on 25 January. It has now been adopted as a Supplementary Planning Document that will come into force at the same time as the new Local Plan. It is expected that most of the money for the upgrades to Mitcham's Corner will come from the second tranche of City Deal funding, and work is therefore unlikely to begin any earlier than 2020. The Development Framework contains a number of additions and amendments put forward by FMC and represents a huge step forward in our campaign to get rid of the gyratory and improve the Mitcham’s Corner area. We are reviewing the details and will discuss the implications at the open meeting in March. The finalised document can be viewed here [12MB]. Please let us know your views.
The main features of the proposals are:
Rebooting the City Deal Smarter Cambridge Transport recently held a public event discussing alternatives to the large engineering solutions being proposed by the City Deal. Speakers presented ideas on on light rail, better bus journeys and the potential of cycling, while MPs Heidi Allen and Daniel Zeichner both called on the City Deal to ask the government for a pause to rethink the approach and get it right. Videos of the presentations and panel discussion, plus various documents, are available on the site of Smarter Cambridge Transport.