Extra flats approved for Impington development amid debate over design
More flats have been added to a development in Impington, despite councillors having mixed views over their design, writes Hannah Brown, Local Democracy Reporter.
Construction work is under way at the former Bishops site in Cambridge Road, following the earlier approval for 35 flats.
South Cambridgeshire District Council has now granted permission for three additional flats to be added to a redesign of the development, taking the total number of flats to 38.
The plans, submitted by Mitre Property Development Ltd, were presented to councillors at a meeting of the district council’s planning committee last Thursday (June 16).
Cllr Anna Bradnam (Lib Dem, Milton and Waterbeach) said she was not happy with the design of the building, describing it as being “very ugly”.
She said she was happy with the design of the side that faced the busway, but was unimpressed by the sides facing the street.
Cllr Bradnam said: “I just think it is not attractive enough in this very significant location. I have no objection to the northern side. I just think the treatment of this corner is dreadful and it faces Cambridge Road, which is what people see.”
Cllr Heather Williams (Con, The Mordens) did not like the design either, but added that design preference is subjective and highlighted that plans were not a major variation to the previously granted scheme.
Other councillors said they did like the design, with Cllr Bill Handley (Lib Dem, Over and Willingham) adding he would be happy to live there.
Cllr Bradnam pointed out that some of the flats only just meet the required minimum space standards and suggested it would be nice to see developers offer more space, rather than add more flats.
Cllr Dr Martin Cahn (Lib Dem, Histon and Impington) felt the benefits outweighed the constraints. He added that “smaller units” were needed in Histon and Impington, and suggested that if they were at the size limits they may therefore be cheaper, stating that the cost of properties in the area was a “big problem”.
The application was unanimously approved by the committee.