Azara Blog: Glebe Road residents don't want a large block of flats

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Date published: 2010/08/28

The Cambridge News says:

Proposed new homes would create extra traffic outside a primary school - and would "completely overshadow" neighbouring properties, it has been claimed.

Developer Hill Residential has submitted a planning application to build 12 homes in Glebe Way, Cambridge, opposite The Perse Pelican School.

If the scheme is approved, an existing dwelling will be razed to the ground to make way for 10 apartments and two detached houses.

There would be eight two-bedroom flats, and two one-bedroom apartments. But residents are up in arms about the scheme, which they argue would be out of character with the other buildings on the street.

More than 60 residents have signed a petition opposing the application. The petition, created by Glebe Road residents Malcolm and Fiona Bates, said: "The development is in a part of Glebe Road that is already extremely busy with traffic and opposite a nursery and primary school - the road will be unable to safely absorb the extra number of vehicles caused by such a high density development.

"The development is out of character with most of the homes in Glebe Road - it would completely overshadow and overlook the neighbouring houses."

A letter of objection from another resident said: "My main concern is with the increase of traffic which this development will cause to an already busy road.

"The establishment of 12 new residences, complete with at least one vehicle for each property, opposite The Pelican School is bound to increase the congestion already in evidence.

"The proposers should, perhaps, rethink and come up with a more realistic use for this plot."

Another Glebe Road resident said: "During term time (about 33 weeks of the year) Glebe Road is a car park. It is a well-known fact that it is full.

"A development of this size and magnitude could attract up to 30 additional car users."

This is just par for the course. Some developer takes the piss and wants to massively over-develop some plot. The neighbours are up in arms because it will change the character of the road and because of traffic. Well, Glebe Road would have a far smaller traffic problem were it not for the fact that Addenbrooke's Hospital charges an extortionate amount of money for parking, so hospital workers and visitors naturally try and park elsewhere. This is the fundamental problem, which the city has conspired with the hospital management to do nothing about for years. (Long Road and Hills Road Sixth Forms do not help.)

On the other hand, even if parking was not a problem, the neighbours would still complain about traffic, because everyone always complains about traffic (evidently it's ok to be in a car but it's not ok for anyone else to be in a car). Presumably in the case here, the developer would at least be required to have off-street parking for the residents (but perhaps not enough, given how anti-car Cambridge is). So the actual incremental traffic problem is small.

The real issue is that this development is completely out-of-scale and not in keeping with the neighbourhood. Unfortunately the city has already allowed this kind of terrible development a couple of streets away on Queen Edith's Way. That is part of the Ring Road so perhaps was considered to be ruined in any case, whereas Glebe Road is a side street, relatively speaking.

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