Call to stop 100-year-old Cambridge house being torn down to build 15 flats

PUBLISHED: 05:42 20 April 2018

Hills Road residents association protested against the devlopment of a property on the corner of Hills Road and Long Road, from left James Berry, Wendy Blyth, and Valerie Lechene Picture: Keith Heppell

Hills Road residents association protested against the devlopment of a property on the corner of Hills Road and Long Road, from left James Berry, Wendy Blyth, and Valerie Lechene Picture: Keith Heppell

Iliffe Media Ltd

Residents from across the city are rallying together to prevent a house in Queen Edith’s from being torn down.

The original vision for 291 Hills Road by Gibson DevelopmentsThe original vision for 291 Hills Road by Gibson Developments

Raylands, an Edwardian redbrick house that stands at 291 Hills Road, on the corner of Queen Edith’s Way, was built in 1910. Gibson Developments wants to knock it down and build a block of 15 flats.

So far 87 formal objections have been submitted to the city council. Not one comment has been made in favour of the development but council officers have recommended it for approval.

Hills Road resident James Berry told the Cambridge Independent: “Queen Edith’s Way has really suffered. So many houses are being torn down and it’s changing the character of the area. We’re not nimbys. There are a lot of similar houses down this road that have been converted to flats as houses like this are too big for families these days.

“There is a glut of two-bed houses in the city often bought by overseas investors and left empty. We’d like to see it turned into flats for local workers, not luxury flats that people can’t afford.”

Residents have gathered outside the house to protest its demolition. They are asking that the building be retained and developed internally only.

James continued: “The house has been occupied since it was built. There have been a lot of interesting people living in that house since 1910, and it’s very interesting in architectural terms. It was built for the corner plot. People across the city are starting to object because they see the same thing happening near them too.”

He said there are also concerns about the impact the development will have on the environment and wildlife.

“The environment is something that people really care about. There are 29 trees on the site and the developers plan to cut down all but 12. It’s an urban garden and a haven for wildlife and that’s all going to change.”

The council’s planning committee will consider the proposals on April 25.

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