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Homes and shops proposed for Cambourne High Street under submitted plans

Plans have been submitted to transform Cambourne’s High Street to create shops with flats above, townhouses and a new public square.

The proposals have been submitted by developer Newcrest, which owns the vacant land on both sides of the street.

How the main square and Cambourne High Street could look under the proposals Pictures: Midpoint Developments
How the main square and Cambourne High Street could look under the proposals Pictures: Midpoint Developments

Under the plans, which were due to be discussed by Cambourne Town Council’s planning committee last night (Tuesday, 4 June), up to 87 flats and 30 townhouses would be built on the vacant land.

The proposals also include 1,401sqm of retail floorspace and a public open space, and the narrow High Street would be widened to enable deliveries to the shops.

The development includes three mixed-use buildings that will be four storeys in height with flat roofs and parapets. There is also a mixture of one-bedroom and two-bedroom properties in a block proposed as well as terraces of townhouses.

Applicant Newcrest Cambourne Ltd described the proposals as ‘critical’ to completing the town.

A planning statement with the application said: “Since the first residents of Cambourne arrived in 1999, the planned settlement that started as three interlinked villages has grown into a thriving town. A town that has a host of services and facilities provided first by MCA (the consortium of developers that built Cambourne) and latterly the parish, now town council.

“However, one thing that has been missing is the completion of the primary retail area, the High Street. This application proposes the final part of the jigsaw by completing the High Street at the heart of the new town.”

Plans for the High Street have been in the making for years, with earlier plans to build two shops on the north of the High Street proving unworkable because it was not possible to ensure deliveries.

A decision on the plans will be made by South Cambridgeshire District Council. A date has yet to be set.

The application continues: “The development of the High Street is not only critical to completing

Cambourne, it is also important to the success of Cambourne West and Bourn Airfield, both of which will look to Cambourne for services and facilities.

“The centre of Cambourne is dominated by Morrisons and the settlement centre car park.

“For users of this car park, who are in the most part visiting Morrisons, the existing High Street units having little or no visual presence.

“It is therefore essential that the development of the High Street addresses this imbalance by ensuring that the High Street attracts people from the settlement centre car park.

“This can only be achieved through alternative retail uses that generate activity and vibrancy from greater pedestrian footfall and dwell time. Importantly, the High Street needs a visual presence from the settlement centre car park.”

However, it adds: “The viability report demonstrates that the development cannot support on-site affordable housing or an affordable housing contribution, due in part to the abnormal costs associated with realigning the High Street.”

To see more planning applications and other public notices for your area, visit publicnoticeportal.uk.

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