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Public asked for views on revised plans for council homes and community centre at The Meadows and Buchan Street

News release from 01/10/2019

CAMBRIDGE Investment Partnership (CIP) – an equal partnership between Cambridge City Council and Hill Investment Partnerships – is consulting on revised proposals for developing its sites at The Meadows and Buchan Street.

The proposals would see a new, modern and highly sustainable community facility with more capacity built at The Meadows to replace both the existing community facility on the site, and the nearby Buchan Street Neighbourhood Centre.

In addition, it is proposed that 106 much-needed new council homes would be built on both council-owned sites. Both community centres would remain open until the new one has been built and handed over.

After listening to the views of local people in a previous consultation in March this year, CIP has developed and refined its initial proposals for both sites.

Following the feedback, particular attention has been paid to how the new community centre and housing could better relate to the open space at St Alban’s Recreation Ground, and how the relationship between the centre and the open space could be enhanced.

Under the earlier proposals a 15% reduction in the area of open space provided at St Alban’s Recreation ground was proposed to facilitate the development. This has now been reduced to an 8% reduction in area.

As well as providing a new state of the art community centre, proposals for the St Alban’s Recreation Ground include a new MUGA (multi-use games area for football, basketball and other games), an improved free-draining football pitch, new play equipment, wood planting and new dog walking routes.

At Buchan Street the proposals now include new open space with play equipment and a new community café, alongside the new council rented homes and a replacement shop previously proposed.

Two consultation events showcasing the revised proposals will take place on:

  • Tuesday 1 October from 3-8pm at the Meadows Community Centre and
  • Friday 4 October from 2-4pm at the Buchan Street Neighbourhood Centre.

These events are open to all and people attending will be able to view display boards illustrating how the new developments will look. Council officers and representatives from CIP will also be on hand to explain the proposals in more detail and answer any questions.Comments received during the consultation event will help to shape proposals for the final planning application. Information about the proposals will also be available online from 2 October at www.cambridge.gov.uk/consultations and at www.ip-cambridge.co.uk/property/meadows-centre-buchan-street/.

“After extensive dialogue with local residents and assessing feedback from the previous consultation we feel that these revised plans will lead to a fantastic new community centre for residents, much needed new homes for local people as well as an improved, more usable and more attractive open space at St Alban’s Recreation Ground.

Cllr Richard Johnson, Executive Councillor for Housing, said: “Building new council homes to address the severe housing shortage in Cambridge remains an overriding priority for the council. However we recognise the importance of retaining and enhancing our open spaces, including the need to provide formal and informal sports and play opportunities, and to provide spaces for biodiversity.

Comments can be submitted by email to meadows@ip-cambridge.co.uk, leaving a name and address along with comments or by post to Meadows and Buchan Development, Planning and Development, Carter Jonas, One Station Square, Cambridge, CB1 2GA. Comments are being invited by Friday 25 October.

“We hope that as many people as possible look at the revised plans and let us know what they think of them.”

Cllr Anna Smith, Executive Councillor for Communities, said: “These revised proposals will see an excellent, modern community centre built at The Meadows alongside much-needed new council homes for the north of the city. It will be capable of hosting all the activities currently run at the Meadows and Buchan Street in a purpose-built centre.

“Our fantastic community centres offer vital facilities and services to a wide range of groups and individuals, and I know how much people value them. The council is committed to working closely with the local community so that the new centre really meets local needs.”