Text of a street letter recently delivered around the St Matthew’s Piece area, setting out recent developments in relation to the proposed student housing development and our views.
Important information from your councillors
Later this month – on 24 March – plans for a student housing block next to St Matthew’s Piece will come before the City Council Planning Committee. Over 400 local residents have opposed this scheme. Your local Labour Councillors will attend the meeting and robustly object on behalf of the whole community.
Following publicity by the Friends of St Matthew’s Piece, whose meetings are chaired by Cllr Mike Davey, and through the Labour newsletter Petersﬁeld Voice, there has been an amazing response to the planning application. Thank you to everyone who has written in with such well-argued, strong reasons why this ‘ugly monstrosity’ should be rejected.
Recommendation to reject
The City Council Planners have written a report that will be presented to the Planning Committee.
They have taken into account planning policies and the views of residents. We understand that the Planners are going to recommend that the scheme be rejected.
This is a huge step forward.
The Trees Oﬃcer has written: ‘given the footprint and height of the building, space required for construction and infrastructure will be substantial and is expected to conﬂict with retained trees necessitating additional tree works. Changes in habitat can have a serious impact on the long-term health of trees, especially when these changes are rapid, and trees don’t have an opportunity to adapt.’
The Conservation Officer has also written: ‘St Matthew’s Piece is of some signiﬁcance in the conservation area. I consider that the proposal would fail to preserve or enhance the character or appearance of the conservation area.’
The independent Conservation Panel voted 4 to 2 with the recommendation that the scheme is ‘fundamentally ﬂawed’.
The report is not available until a week before the meeting on Wednesday 24 March. It can be viewed by going to https://democracy.cambridge.gov.uk – click on ‘Browse the agenda/minutes’ and then select ‘Planning’. On 24 March, residents can also use this link to view the meeting live from 10am.
We are very hopeful that the views of the community, your Councillors and of the professional City Council Planning Officers will result in a rejection of this planning application but we will not know the outcome until the actual meeting and the vote.
As your Councillors, we assure residents that we will object on your behalf at the meeting and continue to do all we can to get this planning application refused.
From your Labour City Councillors,
Richard Robertson and Mike Davey