FRIENDS OF MITCHAM'S CORNER

NEWS

More changes at Mitcham's Corner – The pace of change at Mitcham's Corner continues to be high. Following on the arrival of newcomers such as Camyoga and Nicolas Anthony, and the relocation of Radmore's Farm Shop, a number of familiar businesses and landmarks may be disappearing from the Corner or changing significantly.

    Impression of proposed redevelopment of 
        18 Chesterton Road
  • 18 Chesterton Road (next to the Tivoli) – the owners of the site are developing a proposal to demolish the existing building and replace it with a 'mixed use' development. Their initial ideas are for a "2.5 storey" building with two retail units at street level and 12 flats in the two storeys above. There would be no on-site parking. Note that this is NOT yet a planning application, and these plans have not been discussed with the Planning Department – the architects are simply asking for comments from FMC and its members. You can download the plans and 3D impressions from the links on the right. The FMC committee will be meeting the architects and developers' agent on 21st February: please let us know your views before then, as this is an opportunity to influence the future of this important site at an early stage.
     
  • The Tivoli has been sold and the Council has given the developers "pre-application advice" regarding the site. Officers have confirmed to FMC that they have NOT given any kind of agreement that the existing facade can be demolished. In fact, the recently endorsed Development Framework for Mitcham's Corner states that "Where redevelopment occurs, the opportunity to enhance the built form of the high street should be taken through the retention of the historic street frontage and/or the retention of its character." (p.47) FMC will continue to defend this position strongly.
     
  • The Waterman – We understand that the lease on the site of the Waterman (and the former Radmores Farm Shop next door) is expiring and will not be renewed. There is therefore the possibility that this site could be redeveloped for a new use.
     
  • HSBC and Barclays banks – The Chesterton Road branch of HSBC bank will close in March, and it is uncertain what the future of the site will be. Further, we understand that the owners of the site of Barclays are informally discussing options for the site with the Council.
     
  • Staples – We reported the sale of the Staples organisation a little while ago, which also raises questions about that building (see below).
     

Aerial view of Mitcham's Corner The final version of the Development Framework for Mitcham's Corner was agreed at a Council meeting on 25 January. It has now been adopted as a Supplementary Planning Document that will come into force at the same time as the new Local Plan. It is expected that most of the money for the upgrades to Mitcham's Corner will come from the second tranche of City Deal funding, and work is therefore unlikely to begin any earlier than 2020. The Development Framework contains a number of additions and amendments put forward by FMC and represents a huge step forward in our campaign to get rid of the gyratory and improve the Mitcham’s Corner area. We are reviewing the details and will discuss the implications at an open meeting early in March. The finalised document can be viewed here [12MB], and is reported in this week's Cambridge Independent. Please let us know your views.

The future of Staples? The Staples company has been sold off to Hilco Capital and the brand will disappear from high streets. Hilco claims it wishes to “build a plan for success for the business”, but clearly Staples stores are at risk. The store at Mitcham’s Corner might continue under a new name and management, but it could look and be very different. But equally, someone might regard the site as an opportunity for yet more student accommodation or aparthotel rooms. Everyone interested in Mitcham’s Corner will have to be watching carefully.


Composite map of Mitcham's Corner area A Development Framework for Mitcham’s Corner The Council's public consultation on a proposed Development Framework for Mitcham’s Corner has now closed. The proposals are an important step towards the regeneration of the area, based on removing the gyratory road system. FMC has submitted a response which was favourable and made several suggestions based on your comments: you can view our document here.

The main features of the proposals are:

  • Replacement of the gyratory with a two-way road system and a staggered T-junction ("dog-leg") between Milton Road and Victoria Avenue.
  • No traffic lights on the junctions, nor any segregation of buses, cars and cycles: an innovative "shared space" approach that has been implemented successfully elsewhere.
  • New urban space, street and public realm improvements, and downgrading of parts of the gyratory to local streets only.
  • Specific guidance for the eventual development of Henry Giles House and the Staples site, and more general guidelines for other developments in the area (e.g. the Tivoli site).
  • Costs could range between £2 million and £4 million, funded from future tranches from City Deal, the Local Centres Improvement Programme and planning obligations funding ("Section 106" contributions). Work can be done in phases e.g. road system first, public realm enhancements second.
  • “Any future developer will have to agree the details of planning obligations [in line with the Master Plan] at planning application stages”.

Rebooting the City Deal Smarter Cambridge Transport recently held a public event discussing alternatives to the large engineering solutions being proposed by the City Deal. Speakers presented ideas on on light rail, better bus journeys and the potential of cycling, while MPs Heidi Allen and Daniel Zeichner both called on the City Deal to ask the government for a pause to rethink the approach and get it right. Videos of the presentations and panel discussion, plus various documents, are available on the site of Smarter Cambridge Transport.


Sounds Around the Corner

Sounds Around the Corner 2016 and the Mitcham's & More Festival took place in September, with over a dozen acts including JezO's spectacular magic show, as well as food and drink stalls, crafts and children's activities. See photos on our Sounds Around the Corner page.


Local Liaison Forums are being organised by the City Deal to gather local people's views ahead of the second period of consultation on the proposals for Milton Road and Histon Road. The forums will discuss the details of the planned highway development, and will be an opportunity to offer alternatives to some of the controversial proposals. A Milton Road forum will take place on Tuesday 9th August in Chesterton Community College, Gilbert Road. Details of a Mitcham's Corner forum will be announced shortly.

  • Findings from the City Deal consultation on Milton Road were published on 24th May. A summary can be seen on the City Deal website. More details are provided on our Milton Road Scheme page, but in summary the reports recommend a modified form of the 'Do Something' option:
    – three-lane carriageway with single bus lane, and cycleways on both sides
    – both inbound and outbound bus lanes (staggered) at all major junctions
    – junction changes at Elizabeth Way and Union Lane, but no banning of turns
    – major changes to Mitcham's Corner are likely to be included in the second tranche of City Deal projects (after 2020) after more detailed planning.
     
  • Recommendations for Histon Road are also available on the City Deal website. In this case the "Do Maximum" option is recommended, including the controversial closing off of Victoria Road from the Histon Road junction.
     
  • Results of the Cambridge Access Study have been published and are available on the City Deal website. This is a very important study looking at traffic, parking and congestion issues across Cambridge, and makes recommendations to deal with these issues. A summary of the report, prepared for the City Deal meetings listed above, is available here.
     
  • This year's Mitcham's Models event, with mannequins decorated by artists and featuring poems by local poets, will soon be coming to an end. The models which have been displayed in shop windows around Mitcham's Corner will be auctioned in support of local children's charity Blue Smile. Details of the auction will be posted here; meanwhile you can follow the models on their Facebook page.