Cambridge on Ice

This article was published in 2009, in Newsletter 82.

Since our report in last Newsletter’s ‘Your Streets This Month’, Cambridge City Council’s Planning Department has sent a form reply to those who complained about the ice rink. We reproduce that reply below. The most disappointing aspect of this response is that untold numbers of possibly very influential people in the city have been officially told by Cambridge City Council’s Planning Department that the ice rink’s dreadful wheel-bender cycle parking, far too closely spaced, constitutes ‘secure cycle parking’. It doesn’t, and the City Council Planning Department really should know better! This is a highly unsatisfactory statement, which we think warrants a retraction from the Council, sent out to all the recipients of the original message.

Dear All,

I have been asked to respond to a number of enquiries recently received regarding the ‘Cambridge on Ice’ ice rink, its cycle parking provision, the German market, advertising, and cycle access through the German market area of Parkers Piece.

I shall try to address all of the issues in this email in turn. I have blind copied all those who have contacted the Planning Department to ensure that your contact details have been kept confidentially, although I would note that some details have been placed on the planning file which is a public document where it relates to the non-compliance with the cycle parking provision. In addition, in relation to the Freedom of Information request I can confirm that the Planning file is a public record and can be viewed at our Planning Reception at the 2nd floor of the Guildhall. As a Planning Department I am not aware of any other documentation or discussions held relating to the ice rink or the German market.

1) Cycle Parking provision

Condition 4 of planning permission 07/1067/FUL for ‘Temporary ice rink from November 2007 to January 2008 and from November 2008 to January 2009, to include viewing platform, and marquee structures for changing facilities and a cafe’ required:

‘No development shall commence until details of facilities for the secure parking of 50 number bicycles for use in connection with the development hereby permitted have been submitted to and approved by the Local Planning Authority in writing. Such details shall include the precise location of the provision. The approved facilities shall be provided in accordance with the approved details before use of the development commences.

Reason: To ensure satisfactory provision for the secure storage of bicycles. (Cambridge Local Plan 2006 policy 8/6)’

The planning file illustrates that details were submitted in relation to this condition and that the condition was formally discharged in a letter dated 26/11/07.

A recent site visit to the ice rink on 16.12.08 confirmed that the cycle parking details had been implemented in accordance with the approved details.

2) The German market.

Schedule 2 Part 4 Class B of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995 allows Temporary Structures and Buildings to be erected without the requirement for formal planning permission. As such, the Local Planning Authority would not have required a planning application for this temporary use.

3) Advertising.

The signs that have been erected would require advertisement consent. As they are situated on Council property however, we would be unable to pursue a prosecution against these. I have checked with our Streets and Open Spaces Enforcement Section and they would be unable to remove the signs in question as they are not attached to street furniture. I will pass on this point to the Open Space team however, to ensure that they are aware of the requirements for any future advertising on Council land.

4) Cycle access through Parkers Piece.

I understand that the cycle access through Parkers Piece has been ‘interrupted’ as a result of the German market being present. Unfortunately, as the short-term activity of the market does not require planning permission it not subject to the control of this department, and we are unable to address the issues it has created on the access through Parkers Piece.

I hope that this information is helpful. Should you require any further details please do not hesitate to contact me directly.

Yours faithfully,

Alison Twyford

Senior Planning Enforcement Officer

Cambridge City Council