Your Romsey Lib Dem Team

Simon Cooper
Local campaigner - @simonmcooper
Catherine Smart
Local campaigner - @chlsmart

Romsey is home to a diverse and multi cultural community. Located on the east side of Mill Road it has a good choice of cafes and restaurants, as well as some of Cambridge's oldest shops.  

The Romsey team have regular updates in their blog (with some older posts in their blog archive.)

Extra! Extra! Read all about Romsey, in our news blog 


Romsey and Coleridge Residents' Parking

Last year’s County Council parking consultation has resulted in a narrow majority for a residents’ parking scheme in Romsey and Coleridge, although the response rate was low. In spite of this, the Council has decided to move to the next stage, which is to advertise a Traffic Regulation Order for the scheme in the local paper and in the street (look out for notices on lamp posts). The notices will invite comments from anyone, whether resident in the area or elsewhere.

The parking zone would be known as ‘Coleridge West’ and include the northern side of Cherry Hinton Road up to and including Coleridge Road, the southern side of Mill Road from the railway bridge to Coleridge Road and all streets in between.

Following feedback received in the consultation, the proposed operating hours are now 0900-1900 Monday- Friday, (not 1000-2000 Monday-Saturday, as initially proposed) bringing down the price of residents’ permits from £77 to about £60.

For more information on how residents’ parking schemes work, see Cllr Amanda Taylor's Frequently Asked Questions page

County Boundaries decided - Romsey’s northern boundary stays the same

The Boundary Commission has been reviewing the divisions by which County Councillors are elected and made their decision known on 9th February.  They will be used for the elections in 2017.

The Commission had already decided to reduce the number so Cambridge has 12 county councillors instead of 14.

Romsey will be expanded in the south, taking in a sizable part of Coleridge ward but otherwise remains the same. In particular, the northern boundary remains on the railway line (but including Nuttings and Uphall in Romsey.)

This decision affects County Council boundaries only, at the moment, but it is likely that the Commission will want to look at the City Council ward boundaries in the near future. If they do, they will take this decision into account.

During the Boundary Commission’s review, the Labour local party proposed that the northern boundary between Romsey and Abbey should be moved south to make Abbey bigger by adding the Coldhams Lane area from Romsey.

Many of the residents in this area objected and wrote to the Commission to point out that this would carve up a long-standing community and ignore a natural boundary. The Commission’s own guidelines say they like to use “natural boundaries” like open land and railway lines.

Some local Romsey Labour members also objected but were ignored by their colleagues so that votes by Labour Councillors in the City Council Civic Affairs Committee and at the County Council were in favour of the carve-up. That Labour group at the County Council included the new County Councillor, elected in the by-election in which she had said she would fight to keep Romsey intact. Her promise did not last her climb up Castle Hill into the Council Chamber.

Councillor Catherine Smart commented, “I have no doubt that the decision by the Commission is because of the number of people who wrote telling them not to carve up Romsey. It is a welcome example of ”people power” and a reminder that it is worth trying to change something you don’t like. It can sometimes work - especially if there are a lot of you!“


Ridgeons-brief-1-doc.jpgAfter two workshops involving local residents and councillors, a draft document has been drawn up giving supplementary planning guidance to those who wish to develop the Ridgeon’s site on Cromwell Road.  This will go out to public consultation for six weeks starting on 18th  


Major points to note are:

  • There will be one access for vehicles – the present entrance to the site on Cromwell Road though a second one, also onto Cromwell Road, could be used in an emergency
  • Additional accesses for pedestrians and cyclists including onto Cavendish Road
  • The Chisholm Trail will go through the site
  • There is a sizeable area of green space in the centre of the site
  • Buildings on the eastern and southern edges of the site will be 2/3 stories high only so they do not dominate the present housing.
  • Buildings on the western side, next to the railway, may be taller.

After the period of consultation, comments will be considered and the final document produced.  This will then go through the formal City Council procedure and be ready for adoption. Meanwhile the Local Plan continues its somewhat slow progress towards adoption.  As part of this, the objection lodged by a group of residents to the numbers of houses proposed for the site, will be considered by the Inspector and ruled on. The Ridgeon’s Supplementary Planning Document will have to wait until the Local Plan is fully adopted.  So it is likely to about a year before the process is complete.

“It is important to get the development right on this important site,” commented Cllr Catherine Smart, “so I am glad I insisted that they had to do a Planning Brief and that this was written into the draft  Local Plan.”


cambridgelocalplan.jpgOn the 30th November there was a special meeting of the City Council last Monday to approve a new consultation on some modifications to the local plan.  This was agreed unanimously and the consultation has now started and, with a pause over the Christmas period, will continue till Monday 25th January.

It is being done jointly with South Cambridgeshire District Council as the housing and employment area is being treated more-or-less as one.
The places to make comments are or
Anyone is free to comment on the modifications:  but the comments are supposed to be on the points that are changing only, not the plan as a whole.

There will be a number of exhibitions etc during the period:
• Tuesday 15 December 2015, 9am to 6pm. The Guildhall, Market Square, Cambridge, CB2 3QJ.
• Tuesday 15 December 2015, 3pm to 7.30pm. South Cambridgeshire Hall, Cambourne Business Park, Cambourne, Cambridge, CB23 6EA.
• Thursday 17 December, 2.30pm to 8pm. In the large hall at Cherry Hinton Village Centre, Colville Road, CB1 9EJ.
• Thursday 7 January 2016, 3pm  to 7.30pm. South Cambridgeshire Hall, Cambourne Business Park, Cambourne, Cambridge, CB23 6EA.
• Friday 8 January 2016, 3pm to 7.30pm. The Scout and Guide HQ, Wollards Lane, Great Shelford, CB22 5AZ.
• Monday 11 January 2016, 9am to 6pm. The Guildhall, Market Square, Cambridge, CB2 3QJ.
• Tuesday 12 January 2016, 3pm to 7.30pm. Baptist Chapel Hall, High Street, Teversham, CB1 9AS.

Many of these events in the south of the city because one of the modifications to the local plan is bringing some sites forward in the Cherry Hinton area.  The suggestion is to bring forward building on a piece of land north of Cherry Hinton on the edge of the airport.  The land is not in the green belt and will not affect the airport.  However, there are already concerns about school provision and especially the need for a new secondary school in the east of the city which will be increased if this goes ahead.

This whole consultation is happening because the Inspector asked the two Councils to review parts of the local plan and because the Consultants that were employed, suggested some modifications.

The main changes being suggested include:
• providing for 500 additional homes in South Cambridgeshire by 2031
• releasing a field south of land that has already been allocated to expand the Cambridge Biomedical Campus by around 10%.
• removing the restrictions on when the new town north of Waterbeach and new village at Bourn Airfield could begin
• more land that is earmarked for housing near to Cambridge Airport is now proposed to be developed. The proposals could see 1,200 homes built north of Cherry Hinton and toward Teversham. This would not affect the airport’s operations
• reducing the land made available for employment next to ARM off Cherry Hinton Road

All in all the changes are pretty minor – which has not pleased two groups of people – those who want to reverse the suggestion that two small pieces of land off Wort’s Causeway come out of the green belt and those who think a lot more land should come out of the green belt.

Cllr Catherine Smart said in her speech in the Council meeting,  “if you are being shouted at from both sides, popular wisdom suggests you have got it about right”.  But she added,  “we have something a bit firmer than that because the consultants looked at it again, added the figures up a different way, added a bonus for “market forces” as the latest thinking required – and came to the same figure for the City and 500 more for South Cambs.  We should note that the “market forces” bonus they suggested is the largest in the country.”


Just two new applications were registered for Romsey Town this week:

15/2155/FUL    Land rear of 101 Cavendish Road
Erection of 3No. two bed houses, along with car and cycle parking and hard and soft landscaping.
More information available on the public access on-line register: Here.

15/575/TTCA    12 St Philips Road
T1 – Pine – Reduce height by 8ft and shorten laterals to balance.
More information available on the public access on-line register: Here.


Seven new applications were registered for Romsey Town this week:

15/2131/FUL   M C Body Centre, 11A Hope Street
Retrospective application for planning permission for alterations to commercial garage including increase in height by 102mm (4 inches)..
More information available on the public access on-line register: Here.

15/2132/CLUED   M C Body Centre, 11A Hope Street
Application for a certificate of lawfulness under Section 191 to use as a commercial garage including vehicle repairs and body work.
More information available on the public access on-line register: Here.

15/2140/FUL   97 – 99 Burnside
Construction of 2 semi-detached dwellings following the demolition of existing garages.
More information available on the public access on-line register: Here.

15/2153/FUL   232 Coldhams Lane
Single storey and part first floor rear extensions to create a large HMO (sui generis).
More information available on the public access on-line register: Here.

15/2168/FUL    112 Vinery Road
Roof extension incorporating rear 112 Vinery Road dormer with juliet balcony.
More information available on the public access on-line register: Here.

15/2177/FUL    3 Romsey Road
Erection of an Outbuilding in Rear Garden.
More information available on the public access on-line register: Here.

15/571/TTCA    251 Mill Road
Leylandi – top and fell to ground level.
More information available on the public access on-line register: Here.


Four new applications were registered for Romsey Town this week:

15/1959/FUL   37 Ross Street
Replace windows in second floor rear bedroom with bi-folding patio doors and construct a small wrought iron balcony outside the patio doors, 76cms wide by 2m long.
More information available on the public access on-line register: Here.

15/2045/FUL   75 Burnside
Single storey rear extension (following demolition 75 Burnside of existing conservatory).
More information available on the public access on-line register: Here.

15/2136/FUL   104 Catharine Street
Single storey rear extension and loft conversion.
More information available on the public access on-line register: Here.

15/552/TTCA   249 Mill Road
T1 – Douglas Fir – Top and fell to ground level,
T2 – Leylandii x2 – Top and fell to ground level.
More information available on the public access on-line register: Here.


pymcourttrees.jpgThose going down Cromwell Road in the last few days may have missed seeing the line of silver birches outside Pym Court, the new development nearest to Coldhams Lane.   But they would also have noticed a line of newly planted trees in their place.

Earlier this year a resident told me that she was very concerned about the trees.   I asked for a meeting with the tree officer to find out what was happening – and why.

We met with the tree officer who explained that the trees had been badly damaged by a contractor working for the developer. During the building of the development, the contractor had dug a trench far too near the trees and severed the roots along one side.  This was disastrous for the trees: not only because of the loss of nutrients but because they would become unstable as birch trees have quite shallow roots.   The officer pointed out the signs that showed that the trees were already showing signs of stress.

I asked who would be paying for taking them down, and for the necessary replacements, given the developer’s responsibility for the damage.  I also argued that replacing these trees with cheap, small saplings was not appropriate as it was carelessness that had damaged valuable mature trees.  The tree officer agreed that the developer would be paying and that the replacements would be of a substantial size.

She also agreed to keep an eye on the situation and make sure that the replacements were planted at the optimum time – which has now happened.


Five new applications were registered for Romsey Town this week:

15/1907/FUL   7 Argyle Street

Installation of external wall insulation to front and side elevation (retrospective).
More information available on the public access on-line register: Here.

15/2039/FUL   156 Mill Road
Single storey & first floor rear extensions, rear dormer and change of use to 5 no. studio flats.
More information available on the public access on-line register: Here.

15/2067/FUL   25 Belgrave Road
Proposed single storey bay window to front elevation. Replace aluminium windows with timber vertical sliding sash windows & re-render front elevation.
More information available on the public access on-line register: Here.

15/548/TTCA   92 Argyle Street
T1 – Pear: crown reduce height by 2m and crown reduce spread on all sides by 1.5-2m to remove branches crossing boundaries and growing over adjacent roof.
More information available on the public access on-line register: Here.

15/550/TTCA   Millcroft Court, Mill Road
T1 – Magnolia: reduce height to just below previous reduction
T2 – Rowan: reduce height to just below previous reduction
T3 – Cherry: reduce height to 3ft below previous reduction and shorten lateral branches to rebalance crown
More information available on the public access on-line register: Here.


Thanks to Cllr Catherine Smart for these brief notes of the recent workshop at St Philip’s Church Centre

The City Council has resolved to leave the Depot on Mill Road which it has occupied for over 100 years.   The new Local Plan allocates the land for housing and says there must be a Design Brief which will become Supplementary Planning Guidance to set parameters on how it is developed.

A Workshop was held on 10th November as a first stage in drawing up the SDP.  Between 50 and 60 people took part – neighbours,  members of residents associations, Petersfield and Romsey councillors, council officers and advisors.

The opening presentation explored aspects of the site and pointed out factors which would have to be taken into account including:-

  • the shape and size of the area – roughly rectangular with north/south the longest side.
  • the contamination of the land – the extent of which was not yet fully known
  • the noise from the railway.
  • the plan for the Chisholm Trail to come through the site.
  • the old Library – which was Grade 2 Listed & on  75 year lease.
  • Several other leaseholders who would have to be accommodated in some way – the Women’s Resource Centre and a line of garages

The participants then broke into groups to discuss other factors that would need to be taken into account and consider options.     At the summing up there was a considerable amount of agreement between the groups.

  • The principal desire was for quality housing – at least 40% “affordable”.
  • Different types of housing tenure- possibly including social rented, a co-operative and intermediate.
  • Different types of housing –  terraced housing, housing suitable for people “downsizing”, apartments.
  • The lay-out was discussed with the merits of east /west for solar gain against north/ south, continuing the shape of the area.
  • The importance of two story housing on the edges of the site so as not to over-shadow or dominate the neighbours was agreed but it might be possible to build higher next to the railway.
  • The importance of a community space and a play area for small children
  • The difficulty in making a community space welcoming to those not living on the site if it is in the middle – so perhaps in the south near the old Library would be the answer
  • Other community facilities – perhaps also linked to the Library

Access took up little time as all agreed that vehicle access should only be from Mill Road though there should be pedestrian and cycle access from the north as well, this is in spite of the junction onto Mill Road being difficult.   The importance of avoiding conflict between vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians was agreed – but not solved!!

Making the development “car-free” was considered but the danger of spilling onto neighbouring streets was acknowledged.

Another workshop is planned for January.

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