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Stagecoach move to former Vindis Volkswagen showroom site in Cambridge on hold

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Stagecoach has been granted planning permission for a new office on Cowley Road in Cambridge, but plans to move are on hold owing to the impact of the pandemic.

A Stagecoach bus, sourced by Cinnamon Letters. (34839924)
A Stagecoach bus, sourced by Cinnamon Letters. (34839924)

The joint development control committee, made up of councillors from Cambridge City Council, South Cambridgeshire District Council and Cambridgeshire County Council, met for the last time in its current form on Wednesday (July 15), owing to county council’s decision to withdraw.

The committee granted planning permission to bus operator Stagecoach for a change of use of 59 Cowley Road from industrial to office use.

The site at 59 Cowley Road is currently vacant and was last used by the Vindis Volkswagen car showroom.

A planning officer said “no changes are proposed to the external layout” of the existing building.

According to a planning report, Stagecoach has indicated the “majority” of staff will be relocated from the company’s existing Cambridge offices at 100 Cowley Road.

But the company has suggested it is no longer sure about a move following the changes and uncertainty brought on by the pandemic.

A Stagecoach East spokesperson said: “The planning application was made a while ago and circumstances have changed somewhat since then.

“We are still considering our options but, whatever we decide, operationally we will stay in Cowley Road and only head office staff would be affected by the move.

“The effects of coronavirus have meant many businesses, including ours, have had to review how they operate.

“This is an ongoing process for us and, as a result, a number of decisions have had to be postponed or delayed.”

During the same planning meeting Cambridge City Council was also granted planning permission on July 15 to extend its temporary planning permission to use the Cowley Road depot until December 19, 2023.

The city council’s permission to use the old park and ride site as a depot was due to expire in October this year.

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