Now we have two sets of proposals for Cambridge’s railway station area.
Firstly, there are those of the Ashwell Property Group which is proposing major developments, including some 1000 homes and office space for some 2500 people, some of which is replacement of existing office space. More importantly for cyclists, they propose a cycle park of 2000 spaces, but there is controversy because the initial plans have all spaces beneath an open square in front of the station. Nearly all the Mill site would be cleared as well as much of the 1960s offices adjacent to Station Road where the new buildings would be set further back than the existing line. A multi-storey car park would be located south of the existing station with the possibility that car access would only be available directly off Hills Road, freeing up much of the existing parking area for housing. The section of Station Road nearest the station would be wider with space for buses and taxis, but access for private cars over this section would be much restricted.
We also have a draft development plan from the City Council. This does not have such a large scale development of the area and with a multi-storey car park in the location of the existing car park. Cycle parking would be ‘distributed’, but with proposals for some higher quality provision.
Both plans offer much-improved access for cycles and pedestrians especially along the North-South axis.
If progress on the development of this area is to proceed swiftly it is vital that the two sides come to an agreement, otherwise we will have further delays and the expense of yet another Public Inquiry. Even if all went well it is not expected that this major development could be completed in less than six years.
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