Major Development Schemes in the 1990s
(CEN Spring-96... 30-Apr-1997, 25-Sep, 19-Nov, 12-Nov-1998)
- Developer: Sainsbury's
- The County Structure Plan suggests
the general area for any retail development.
- Sainsbury's delivered glossy brochures to thousands of City homes to promote the scheme
and produced a revised proposal on 18-Jun-1996 with improved landscaping.
They also sent out thousands of postcards criticising the City centre as a place to shop.
- Proposed use:
- 41,800 sq.m shopping centre;
- 4,645 sq.m. leisure building (commercial leisure centre, catering & archaeological interpretation centre).
- Shoppers will pay to park in 2,600-space car park, to encourage public transport, particularly buses
- Sainsbury's bought the old bus depot part of the site in July 1997.
- Department of Transport ordered the Council to reject the scheme on traffic grounds initially,
until Sainsbury's offered to improve the A14 to Milton.
- South Cambs District Council rejected the plans.
- The County Council did a deal with Sainsbury for funding of significant traffic improvements
should it receive planning permission, including a Park & Ride site and contributions to
reopening the St Ives line.
- Public enquiry started on June 5 1997 at an estimated cost of £1M, about a half from
(the delay was in "booking" a Department of Environment Inspector with the necessary mix of skills).
Even though the three councils cooperated well on the
Northern Fringe Working Party, they preferred separate representation to
sharing costs. The City Council budgeted for £130,000. Enquiry finished in Nov. 1997, with a decision
expected around mid-1998 but actually announced in November.
The Inspector ruled against the development, commending the improvement
of the City Centre along the lines of the Grand Arcade.
- See Monster Public Enquiry for Monster Retail Parks
and the A14.
6 hectare site alongside the Sainsbury's development
(CEN 16-Apr-1996, 4-Mar-1997, 10-May, 30-Apr-1998)
- Developer: Unex, along with a giant entertainment company
- Proposed use:
- Multiplex cinema
- Bowling alley
- Bingo hall
- Family entertainment centre, including a restaurant
- Cost: £15M
A 2,500-seat concert hall has been proposed for the outskirts of the City,
at the former Blue Circle cement works off Coldham's Lane, by an unnamed developer.
The Chairman of the Environment Committee, Coun. John Ratcliffe, hoped that
a railway station would be built there too.
- Developer: Tesco
- Tesco store expanded from 7,711 sq.m. to 8,640
- 7,664 sq.m. new store
(originally Marks & Spencer was a possibility but they've said they're not interested)
- Village centre with local shops & community facilities
- New landscaping & road improvements
- Original applications rejected by South Cambs. Council on 5-Mar-1997,
in line with current Government guidance
though some local councillors and many villagers welcomed the proposal.
- Third application expected in 1998, with greater emphasis on residents' needs.
(CEN 26-Jul-1996 - 4-Jun-1997)
- Developer: Anglian Water and Railtrack.
- Proposed use:
- Shopping centre (up to 28,780 sq.m);
- Housing (up to 750 homes);
- Business park;
- Two hotels;
- Leisure area (up to 15,793 sq.m)
- multiscreen cinema, bowling alley, nightclub, restaurants, sports centre and floodlit sports pitch suggested.
- Replace old sewage works by small, modern one.
- Park-and-ride site.
- Cycle bridges over A14 and railway.
- New railway station and A14 junction.
- Possible new fire station, moved from Parkside.
- Recommended by the Northern Fringe Working Party
over the Arbury Park scheme.
- Supported by Cambridge City Council but opposed by the County Council as essential detail was lacking.
- See also the A14.
- Public enquiry along with the
Sainsbury's Arbury Park proposal.
- Plan withdrawn by the developers on 3-Jun-1997, at least for a while,
due to competition from Grand Arcade.
Anglia Water will upgrade the sewage works (approx. £2M).
(CEN 5-Sep-1996, 1-Oct, 3-Oct, 25-Apr-1997, 8-May)
- Developer: Railtrack.
- Would require a river bridge and road through Fen Ditton to connect to the main road network,
as access from Milton Road is limited by that road's congestion.
Plans for such in the early 1990s were bitterly opposed and abandoned when the
Conservatives lost control of the County Council in 1993.
- 180 acres, owned by Railtrack, Anglian Water, the City Council and the Crown Estate.
- Proposed use: large retail centre and business park.
(CEN 7-Feb-97, 2-Sep)
- Developer: Tesco
- 6,000 sq.m. new store behind the Hospital, in Yarrow Road
- Outline permission was granted in 1992
- After a joint traffic survey by the City & South Cambs Councils,
there were no planning grounds for refusal and planning permission was given
- Building began in Feb. 1997 and it opened on June 30.
- Within 2 weeks of opening, Cherry Hinton shops reported a big drop in trade.
Six months on they regarded it as a disaster.
- Tesco hired a town crier and opened a special recruitment office in Hills Road as they
were having so much difficulty recruiting the 360 posts - the worst they've ever experienced.
Tescos's complained it was due to the low unemployment in the area - surely it's more that people willing to take the
relatively low wages of the majority of posts won't have a reliable, convenient way of getting to and from work?
There's also a £7.7M plan to replace part of the Hospital.
A research & development complex has been approved after only 12 years by
the City Council. The site is on Fulbourn Road in Cherry Hinton.
It is expected to house over 1,000 jobs in five buildings, covering
15,000 sq.m., with parking for 500 cars and 350 bicycles and access for buses.
Back in 1984 Acorn Computers won planning permission for a research centre.
- Developer: Capital & Counties plc & MPM Properties
- Restore & refurbish 10,139 sq.m. Victorian Hospital for about £6M
- Part to be admin. offices for Cambridge & Huntingdon Health Authority
- Part to be Homerton School of Health Studies
- 15,585 sq.m. "campus style" business park behind the Hospital
The old Coulson's (builders) site, vacant since about 1986, was finally
developed in 1994/5, adding the Warner multiscreen cinema,
BHS, a "food hall" (not the usual meaning of specialist, delicatessen shops -
instead cafes/restaurants) and many small-to-medium shop units.
(CEN 4-Sep-1997, 20-Jun-1998)
(CEN 29-Feb-1996, 15-Jan-1997, 4-Sep)
- Developer: the Wellcome Trust
- £100M 40,000 sq.m expansion next to the Sanger Centre on a 26ha site called Riverside, with 1,000 extra jobs
- Rejected by South Cambs. District Council planning subcommittee in Nov. as being too big for the site
- Planning Inquiry in mid-1998 completed but reopened by the Secretary of State to
consider a further submission from the Trust. John Prescott then rejected the plans but recommended
the Trust apply for a smaller-scale development.
- Developer: Property Holdings Thames North,
agents for the site's owner, the Department of the Environment
- Site on corner of Hauxton Road and Maris Lane, in the grounds of Anstey Hall, which is for sale
- Proposed use: food store; 3,906 sq.m. floorspace (25,000 sq.ft selling space)
- Retailer eventually revealed in Sep-1997: Waitrose, part of the John Lewis Partnership
- Rejected by planning subcommittee, against the advice of officers
- Public inquiry was due in October 1997 but actually finished in late May 1999, with the Inspector approving the plans.
The Secretary of State formally gave planning permission in September 1999.
: Major Development Schemes in the 2000s