INITIAL archaeological study work is about to get under way as part of the first stage of the redevelopment of Park Street car and cycle park.
The Cambridge City Council facility is set to be redeveloped by Cambridge Investment Partnership (CIP) as a hotel – potentially an aparthotel – with a new underground car and cycle park beneath it.
The proposal for redevelopment of the site was approved by the council earlier this year.
The planned basement car and cycle park will provide around 225 car parking spaces, cycle parking (the same amount as currently) and facilities for electric vehicle charging.
The exploratory work will start next week and is part of the archaeological and geotechnical study that must be undertaken before the redevelopment plans can be progressed.
The car park will remain operational during the period of the study works, which are likely to take around four weeks.
During the works, some motorcycle parking spaces will be temporarily relocated to another bay on the ground floor and there will be a small reduction in cycle parking space on the basement level.
Two of the seven disabled parking bays will be temporarily unavailable and cycle lockers located on the ground floor level will accessed by a different route. Locker leaseholders will be notified personally. Signage will be put in place to help customers.
CIP’s contractors will work to keep any disruption to customers and local residents to a minimum.
The redevelopment of Park Street car park will see the council retain the freehold of the site and it will continue to own and manage the new car and cycle park.
The scheme will provide an improved car and cycle park to meet demand and support an increase in the potential footfall for business and tourism once the hotel/aparthotel is developed.
The development should also provide the potential for additional capital income for the council to invest in for the development of new council homes on other sites.
Cllr Lewis Herbert, Leader of the Council, said: “Our plans for Park Street car park, with its upgraded council car and cycle park, will bring a long-term economic boost to the area north of the historic city core and replace a building that is well past its sell-by date.
“It should also generate extra funds for the council to invest in land for additional council homes in the next five years.
“This exploratory work is a necessary first step to help us assess archaeological ground conditions beneath Park Street car park – something that is clearly essential before any redevelopment work can go ahead.
“These necessary studies of the ground beneath the car park will be carried out without closing the car park or extending the main demolition and construction process when that stage is reached.”
A local liaison committee has been set up to enable CIP to work closely with local resident and business representatives, to ensure disruption during the redevelopment is kept to a minimum, and to plan alternative car parking provision during the build.