PARK STREET Car Park is set to undergo a programme of refurbishments while plans are further developed for the possible long term redevelopment of the site.
A reportfor Cambridge City Council’s Strategy and Resources Scrutiny Committee by Cambridge Investment Partnership (CIP) has identified potential options for refurbishing and redeveloping the multi-storey car park.
Councillors will now discuss them and commit to a five year rolling programme of refurbishments for the car park, to be reviewed annually, while alternatives are explored for the longer term future redevelopment of the site.
The possibility of refurbishing the car park to extend its use for a 15 year period has also been explored by CIP. This would involve closing the car park completely for a period of six months and is not being recommended.
CIP previously carried out a feasibility study on a proposed option of building a three or four storey underground car park with council housing and commercial units above it.
This option was ruled out in August this year as being too expensive, and not a site where council housing could be viably developed.
Instead, council housing is being built elsewhere in Cambridge at lower costs per home – including plans for Mill Road Depot and a long list of other sites – as part of the council’s and CIP’s Affordable Housing Programme.
That programme will see 500 new homes for social rent being built, using £70 million funds negotiated from the government as part of the recent devolution deal for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, along with Right To Buy receipts and a percentage of council reserves.
Cllr Lewis Herbert, Leader of the Council, said: “Now that the first proposal for a major underground car park plus housing and commercial space at Park Street has been ruled out, we are determined to ensure we find the best possible solution for the site.
“That includes a commitment to retaining an appropriate level of car parking at Park Street, and making the most of the site for the wider community in Cambridge and beyond.
“We need to ensure any future refurbishment or redevelopment fits in with wider plans. These include proposals for reducing congestion by increasing use of Park and Rides, much better public transport, and wider future plans for the city’s transport infrastructure currently being discussed by the Greater Cambridge Partnership.
“We also need to make sure that the needs of residents, visitors and businesses are satisfied by the chosen scheme, with any disruption kept to a minimum.
Councillors will discuss the report at the meeting of Strategy and Resources Scrutiny Committee on 13 November.