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Change in plans for Mill Road depot site

News release from 16/08/2018

FURTHER homes are to be developed on the Mill Road depot site as a result of a change in plans for the Mill Road end of the site, with the YMCA no longer planning to relocate from their current Gonville Place location.

A further 40-50 units are estimated, with 50% of the extra homes being owned by Cambridge City Council, and let through the council’s housing service to local people in need.

After 100 years as the council’s depot site, the regeneration is being led by Cambridge Investment Partnership (CIP), a joint venture between Cambridge City Council and Hill Investment Partnerships, to develop much needed housing for the city.

The largest part of the site will already see more than 180 homes built, of which 50% will be affordable housing, rather than the usual 40%, after planning permission was granted in March.

CIP had worked closely with YMCA Trinity Group to explore options for them to relocate to larger facilities on the depot site, alongside a new community facility.

A secondary planning application, for development at the Mill Road end of the depot site, was due to be submitted shortly, but CIP and YMCA Trinity Group have been unable to reach an agreement and so plans for the charity to relocate to Mill Road will not now go ahead.

This means that CIP will now press ahead with building the planned community facility and look to increase the number of market sale, and affordable homes, to be built in place of the planned YMCA building.

Fiona Bryant, Strategic Director at Cambridge City Council, said: “The regeneration of Mill Road depot and provision of new homes will help to meet the desperate housing shortage in Cambridge.

“We are working to develop homes that are designed and built to high standards and a community facility that will serve people in the area for many years to come.

“We will now be focussing on increasing the numbers of homes to ensure that we are making the best use of every part of the site.”

Jonathan Martin, Chief Executive of YMCA Trinity Group, said: “We have worked very closely with CIP to see whether relocation could work but unfortunately it was not financially viable for us.

“While we understand this will be a source of disappointment, our primary focus is on providing the best possible service to young people in our local community and this had to be kept in mind when exploring all of the options available to us.”

The Mill Road development will include integration of the cross-city cycleway, the Chisholm Trail, a scheme being led by Greater Cambridge Partnership.

The council currently proposes to retain a further 20 homes on the whole site for rental at sub-market rents to tenants who do not qualify for social housing.

Other features of the Mill Road depot development will include:

  • Cycle parking on site, including underground parking, and large numbers of “Sheffield” stands around the development;
  • Open space making up 28% of the site;
  • Parking provision at a ratio of 0.65 per dwelling which reflects the fact that Mill Road is well located in terms of access to the city centre and for public transport. During a consultation local residents raised concerns that if there was no parking provision for residents of the new homes they would inevitably park their cars in nearby streets which would impact on residents of those streets.

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