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We don't know if we'll have to close,' says Cambridge pub

The Maypole Pub, Portugal Place, Cambridge owners Vincent Castiglione . Picture: Keith Heppell
The Maypole Pub, Portugal Place, Cambridge owners Vincent Castiglione . Picture: Keith Heppell

The Maypole pub may have to close if construction at Park Street car park goes forward.

A group of small business owners who operate in the area around Park Street car park met with Cambridge MP Daniel Zeichner this week to tell him how the car park’s planned redevelopment will impact their livelihoods.

The council is proposing to knock down the car park and build a new one with an aparthotel on the upper storeys.

It’s a huge job that could reportedly take up to four years, although the council has not yet confirmed how long it may take. Some businesses will be hit harder than others.

Vincent Castiglioni owns and runs the Maypole pub, which shares a wall with Park Street car park. He said: “We were never consulted at any stage. We don’t know what’s going to happen.

“We’re a family business and we’ve been here since 1982. We’re well established here.

“We have staff and we don’t know what to tell them. We don’t know if they’re going to have a job. We don’t know if, while demolishing the car park, we will have to close, or what length of time we will have to close for. We don’t know what to tell our customers, because at no stage were we consulted.

“The latest we heard with the last proposal was that it’s not happening and they were just going to refurbish the car park. A very short period after, that’s all changed, and now they’re going to build a hotel and they’re going to dig down four storeys.

“At the end of the day, if they wanted to do something to improve Cambridge that’s fantastic. The car park now is an eyesore. If there was a lovely building there and they made it underground and it was viable, fine. But let people know the truth.”

Members of the group reported that the car park’s redevelopment, which was originally proposed to take no more than two years, may take more than four years.

City council leader Cllr Lewis Herbert said: “The plans for Park Street still have several stages to go through before there is a detailed plan for the site’s future, and for the redevelopment period.

“The liaison committee we are setting up will engage with the site’s nearest businesses and residents as well as the needs of the wider community, and we will be in touch again with people at recent meetings and ensure we get their input in the next few months.”

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