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Plans Being Drawn up for Cambridge Scheme

Posted by Richard Ward in

Image courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons

Formal plans to transform the John Banks Honda dealership in Cambridge's Newmarket Road could be lodged later this year, but councillors suggest the site would be better used for affordable homes.

An exhibition will be held this week, providing residents a chance to review the plans and give feedback.

London-based Future Generation is promoting the Barnwell Gate development on its website, suggesting it will deliver high-quality rooms within a mix of cluster en-suite flats and studios, as well as outstanding amenity spaces.

However, councillor Richard Johnson said: "Abbey residents will be concerned to learn that, once again, a site on Newmarket Road has been identified for student accommodation, when a better use of the site would be to provide badly-needed affordable and social housing for families and individuals who live and work in our city."

"The developers have made assumptions on their website - for example, showing indicative prices for the rooms and so forth - that indicate they fully expect this to be waved through."

"If Future Generation did their homework, they would be aware that several developments over the last few years on Newmarket Road have been opposed by residents and tirelessly fought against."

Commenting on the proposals, Mark Banks, Managing Director of John Banks Group, which owns the site, said the Honda showroom would move under the plans. He added: "Five or six years ago, we got planning permission to build our new Honda showroom at Cheddars Lane, which was always the plan because Newmarket Road is a bit small for us."

"We've been struggling for space at Newmarket Road for Honda, so the plan has always been to move the showroom to another site."

Mr Banks also argued that more student accommodation was needed, and the addition of new beds would ensure more houses become available for residential use.