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Cambridge residents angry over housing plans



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Residents in Newnham Croft are fighting to stop a plan which they say is a ‘gross overdevelopment’ of a key green space in the centre of a very densely built-up area.

The plans, put forward on behalf of applicant Desmond Hirsch, propose four new studio apartments within a two-storey building, 31 Grantchester Street, in the Newnham Croft conservation area.

But the plans have already attracted opposition with more than 50 objections raised.

Newnham residents against development plans. Picture: Keith Heppell. (7214458)
Newnham residents against development plans. Picture: Keith Heppell. (7214458)

Jean Glasberg, chair of the Newnham Croft Residents’ Association, insists the scheme is badly designed.

She said: “This is a garden, so it is a greenfield, not brownfield site, but that is not the main reason people are objecting.

“This is gross overdevelopment of a key green space in the centre of a very densely built-up area, on a site where significant development has already taken place.

“The policies in the Cambridge Local Plan 2018 seek to protect the setting of conservation areas and ensure that new development either ‘preserves or enhances’ the special character of the area. It is against these criteria that all new applications must therefore be judged, and it is very clear that this proposal would be detrimental and should be refused.”

The residents have the support of Newnham’s Lib Dem city councillor Rod Cantrill, who added: “Newnham Croft is an important conservation area. I am very concerned that the proposals to build in the garden will mean a loss of this greenery and will mean a building that overwhelms the street and has a negative impact on neighbours and the broader community.”

A spokesman for Carter Jonas, which is acting for the applicant, said: “The design has been carefully tailored to minimise its impact on the existing buildings which surround the site. The development pays due regard to the character of the area, and to the scale and massing of adjoining development.”



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