Mill Road Depot development site

Mill Road Depot site

The Mill Road Depot site is a site off Mill Road next to the bridge, proposed for a new housing estate. The proposed development is a joint project between Cambridge City Council and housebuilder Hill.

“Approximately 230” dwellings are proposed by the developer. (This is an increase from 167 dwellings in the approved planning document.)

Approximately 210 car parking spaces are proposed in total – which we calculate is a car ownership level of 87%.

Our views

We have written to the developer as follows, following our meeting with them on 10th August, and following a meeting amongst our own members to discuss our policy view.

Our views on the proposed Mill Road Depot development (August 2017)

In summary our views are that:

  • We believe the development should be a low-car development. The proposals provide a level of car parking which is inappropriately high for the already congested Mill Road area. The proposal currently has a ratio of 0.87 cars per dwelling. This is far higher than the surrounding area of Petersfield which we estimate to be 0.5. We will object in all future stages of work on this development to any proposal which goes above this base level.
  • We suggest that there should be no at-grade car parking (except for car club, disabled, short-stay/loading spaces). This would mean 115 spaces in total, a level of 0.5, as explained below. This would mean more living space or decreased housing cost, either of which would be welcomed by buyers.
  • We welcome the siting and proposed width (6m) for the Chisholm Trail.
  • We welcome the overall street pattern and welcome the principle of permeability for walking and cycling but not through- motor traffic.
  • We would like assurances on the way cycle parking is to be provided for the housing units but are broadly content with the proposed direction outlined to us in discussions.

Policy context

The site is subject to the following policies:


A public consultation event was held on 19th July.

A copy of the presentation on display at the event are available online.
Note that this does not include the details below on levels of car parking that we have obtained confirmation on below.

The official website of the development is at: .

An online consultation response form seeks feedback by 11th August.

Car parking levels proposed by the developer

Shortly after the developers’ consultation event, we wrote to the developers and asked them to provide the actual proposed car parking numbers. 2½ weeks after asking, we received the following clarification from the developers on 10th August, one day before the consultation deadline:

In response to your questions raised, our plans are very much still work in progress, however, our current draft provides the following car park/cycle provision:

  • Approximately 210 car parking spaces are proposed in total, of which around 135 are located in a single-level basement. Most of the others, around 50, are proposed in garages integral to the houses and in one case an undercroft. The remaining approximately 25 are proposed on street and one small car parking court. Of these, around 10 spaces will be for visitors
  • Approximately 425 cycle parking spaces are proposed in total, including cycle parking for off-gauge cycles (cargo bikes/Bakfiets etc) and visitor cycle parking. Except for the visitor cycle parking, all cycle parking is to be secure and under cover. Locations for and access to cycle parking is being designed to be as convenient as all possible, including for off-gauge bikes, within the constraints of the site.
  • The width of the path the forms the Chisholm Trail is estimated to be 6m for a pedestrian/cycle route and landscaping and will run the length of the development.
  • All motor vehicles will access the site is from Mill Road. However, pedestrians and cycles will also be able to access the site via Hooper Street.

Level of car parking in relation to policy

Regarding the level of parking and its relation to policy:

Proposed by developer:

The level of parking proposed, taking into account subtracting 10 for visitors, is ((210-10)/230) i.e. 87%:

Text states: “Approximately 210 car parking spaces are proposed“; “Of these, around 10 spaces will be for visitors”

Number of houses: “approximately 230”.

The Mill Road Depot SPD:

The Mill Road SPD (Mill Road Depot Planning and Development Brief), approved March 2017, states:

“Cambridge City Council’s car parking standards are expressed as maximum standards in line with national guidance and the City’s Council’s sustainability aims. The Local Plan identifies a justification for car parking provision below this maximum given the site’s close proximity to public transport, shops and services. Based on discussions to date, the aspiration is to provide low car parking provision with an additional visitor parking space of 0.25 per home (i.e. 1 visitor space for every four homes). ”

Cambridge City Council car parking standards, part of the Local Plan:

The City Council’s Car and Cycle Parking Standards, which form part of the Local Plan, state:

“2.1 Table 1 gives the car parking standards for residential uses. In addition to these ratios, provision should be made for visitors at the ratio of one space for every four units”

Dwelling Size Inside CPZ Outside CPZ
Up to 2 bedrooms 1 car parking space 1 car parking space
3 or more bedrooms 1 car parking space 2 car parking spaces

The CPZ (Controlled Parking Zone) is defined in the same document as follows:

“1.4 The standards make a clear distinction between sites inside of and outside of the Controlled Parking Zone (CPZ). Within the CPZ, parking controls exist on all streets, and new developments will not usually be eligible for permits for on-street parking. It should be noted that near the CPZ boundary a site is deemed to be within the CPZ if its access point to the existing highway is within the CPZ. ”