Home   News   Article

Subscribe Now

Office block approved for Maids Causeway in Cambridge despite neighbours’ concerns

Plans for a new office block in Cambridge has been approved despite neighbours branding it a “blight” on the area.

This was the second time plans had come forward to build new offices on land next to Grafton House in Maids Causeway.

How the new office block beside Grafton House in Maids Causeway would look. Image: Owers
How the new office block beside Grafton House in Maids Causeway would look. Image: Owers

The first application was rejected by Cambridge City Council last year after concerns the building would be “overly dominant”.

Developer Camprop Ltd reduced the height of the block and changed the materials.

A representative told the planning committee on 3 July that “a lot of thought and consideration” had gone into the redesign and that the impact on neighbours had been “carefully considered”.

However, the neighbours argued the new building would be a “blight” on the area.

John Lee told councillors that he and the other leaseholders at Grafton House did not feel the changes resolved the issues, arguing it “remains an industrial looking, dominant, overpowering building”.

Cllr Katie Porrer (Lib Dem, Market), one of the ward councillors for the area, said “very little has changed”, said the height reduction was “barely noticeable” and the building “still dominated”.

She added: “Residents were really hoping to see a redesign of this reducing the bulk, massing and footprint, not just a slight lowering and change of materials.”

Cllr Martin Smart (Lab, King’s Hedges) agreed and felt it did not make a “good quality architectural statement” for the centre of the city where he said he would expect the “highest quality buildings put forward”.

But Cllr Dave Baigent (Lab, Romsey) disagreed, saying: “I think the architects have worked hard. I think that this is a vast improvement from what we had before.”

Cllr Katie Thornburrow (Lab, Petersfield) believed the “simplistic” design was appropriate for the location, adding that the detailing of the proposed handmade clay tiles would be “interesting” for passers-by.

Cllr Nadia Lokhmotova (Lib Dem, Trumpington) said she would have liked more information about the sustainability of the building.

But the proposals were ultimately approved by the planning committee.

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies - Learn More