Azara Blog: First non-residential Arbury Park planning application turned down

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Date published: 2007/01/12

The Cambridge Evening News says:

Plans for a hotel at a "gateway" to Cambridge have been rejected as uninspiring.

Planners were unimpressed with the scheme from Whitbread and Gallagher Estates, saying it did not meet aspirations for a "unique" landmark building at the entry to Cambridge off the A14.

The scheme would have seen a 137-room hotel with a bar and restaurant on the new Arbury Park development.

The hotel was designed to be a buffer between the A14 and the new houses.

But South Cambridgeshire councillors said when the estate was being designed, a hotel was never intended for the site - industrial units had originally been planned. And there were concerns the fivestorey hotel would reflect noise from the busy road back towards homes in Impington.

Coun Mike Mason suggested it may have to be moved back if the A14 is expanded to eight lanes, as suggested by the Highways Agency.

Coun Ann Elsby, Gamlingay, said: "Looking at the design of this it seems to be what you get up and down the country. There is nothing to say 'this is Cambridge, we are proud to welcome you to it'."

The hotel design might have been uninspiring but the housing they are putting up is also "what you get up and down the country". Is anyone surprised? There were lots of warm words from the developers a couple of years ago but there is very little to show for it.

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