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Cambridge could get 300 homes under new development plan

A massive new housing development, which could bring nearly 300 new homes, including 118 new council houses, to the middle of Cambridge has moved a step closer with warehouses on the site set to be demolished.

An application for the destruction of all buildings and hardstanding on the Ridgeons site at 75 Cromwell Road were unanimously approved by Cambridge City Council’s planning committee on February 6.

The 3.3-hectare site, formerly the base for building merchants Ridgeons, will be the centre of the new development.

In July, the city council revealed it has bought the site and planned to deliver the housing with some of the £70m funding secured in the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough devolution deal.

Cllr Richard Johnson, executive councillor for housing at the city council said that there are hopes that nearly 300 homes can be built on the site. This, though, depends on further planning permission being granted.

Cllr Johnson said: “We’re aiming for up to 295, with 118 being council homes. Obviously can’t preempt the planning process but we are working with planners to overcome any concerns before it gets to committee.”

However, Cllr Dave Baigent was frustrated by the lack of clarity in the transport plan.

He added: “I am a little concerned about not knowing the detail of the transport plan. Will, there be a vast number of lorries and how much congestion will that cause?”

He was also worried about asbestos on the site.

Council planning officer Mairead O’Sullivan said asbestos issues fell under the jurisdiction of the health and safety executive. She said the applicants would “meet the relevant criteria” for dealing with buildings containing asbestos.

The committee heard there was a plan to “clean and reuse” demolition material from the site, which would hopefully cut down on the number of heavy lorries entering and leaving the site.

Kevin Blencowe, executive councillor for planning at the city council, said he did not anticipate there being problems with congestion due to increased traffic from lorries during the demolition process.

“The actual numbers in terms of traffic movements would be a lot less than when the site was open and in use,” said Cllr Blencowe. “I think there will be far fewer movements. I do not think there will be a problem.”

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