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New council homes on the way as Mill Road Depot plans approved

By Ben Comber

Mill Road Depot, Headley Street View
Mill Road Depot, Headley Street View

Despite objections from Petersfield residents, the city council is pushing ahead with its plans to redevelop Mill Road Depot with 182 homes.

Mill Road Depot, Eagle Foundry View
Mill Road Depot, Eagle Foundry View

Half of the housing is set to be affordable – 10 percentage points more than the required level – with the council viewing the site as “vitally important” to its promise to deliver 500 new homes with £70million granted from the devolution deal.

However, some Petersfield residents voiced their objections to the scheme at last Wednesday’s planning committee meeting when the city council granted itself planning permission. Residents are concerned the development, along with the relocation of the YMCA which is being considered separately by planners, means the area is losing community space. There were also concerns about over development and traffic congestion.

South Petersfield Residents’ Association secretary Frank Gawthrop said: “We objected to the Chisholm Trail cycle route being included in the open space provision. It’s a concrete path, not green space. We thought that was a bit sharp practice.”

He said residents north of Mill Road do not have the same community provision as the residents living south of Mill Road.

Mill Road Depot, Eagle Green View
Mill Road Depot, Eagle Green View

“In this instance this is a brilliant idea though,” Frank continued. “We’re going to get 50 per cent council housing and most people who are from Cambridge know that their kids can’t afford houses in the city. “It’s just awful.”

Cllr Kevin Price, lead for housing at the city council, said: “This affordable housing will be delivered as much-needed social rented homes for the city council and these proposals will build nearly 20 per cent of the devolution deal programme.

“The housing needs register has some 2,500 people awaiting housing. That’s families and individuals. This scheme will help to ease some of the pressure on that list because we need to keep people on lower incomes living in the city.

“It’s a vitally important site for delivering housing.”

The depot plans have been drawn up by a partnership that involves the city council and Hill Investment Partnership. It includes mews and terraced homes, detached houses and six apartment blocks, which would make up the majority of the dwellings.


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