Fight launched to build Cambridge flats branded ‘dominant and intrusive’

Red brick two-and-a-half storey building.
-Credit: (Image: NP Architects/Ruda Shiva Limited)


A developer has launched a fight to build a new block of flats in Cambridge that were branded ‘dominant and intrusive’ by officials. Cambridge City Council refused to grant permission for plans to knock down two houses in Perne Road to make way for the new flats. The authority said the proposed redevelopment would be “bulky” and be “overbearing” on some neighbouring homes.

The developer, Ruda Shiva Limited, has lodged an appeal with the planning inspectorate to try and overturn the city council decision. The planning application proposed to demolish 87 and 89 Perne Road, in order to build seven flats in their place, including two two-bedroom flats and five one-bedroom flats.

In the application the developer said the design of the new building “responds to many of the key elements found in the road”, adding that the height was ‘comparable but a little higher’ to the existing houses in the road. However, the city council criticised the design of the proposed building and raised concerns about the impact it could have on neighbours.

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The city council said the design of the back of the building would be “effectively” three-storeys, which it said would ‘overwhelm’ the site. The authority argued the “bulky” design of the building “would fail to respect or relate to the surrounding” buildings. The city council also claimed the new building would be “visually dominant and intrusive” to adjacent neighbours and would have a “significant overbearing impact” on one particular neighbour.

The authority added that it had concerns about the quality of life for people living in the proposed flats. It said: “The proposal fails to provide a good quality living environment for future occupiers and adequately provide for their functional needs, with the private amenity areas for each of the units not receiving adequate light provision.”

The developer has now appealed against this decision and has called for the plans to be approved. In an appeal statement the developer said: “The proposal is considered as being demonstrably capable of providing residential accommodation in a highly sustainable location and therefore is fully compliant with the policies set out in the National Planning Policy Framework and the Local Plan.

“We consider that the proposal assimilates itself into the existing suburban context in terms of design, scale, mass, materials, and pattern of development. We consider the proposal to be entirely appropriate for this location, whilst making efficient use of the site, and that no unreasonable harm would result to the character of the area.”

The developer added that the proposals would offer a “safe living environment”. The appeal will be considered by a planning inspector, who will decide whether to allow or dismiss it. A date for when a decision will be made has not been set, but is due to be at some point after August 14, when the final comments from the developer and the city council need to be submitted.

For more planning notices in your area visit publicnoticeportal.uk .