University site should be developed as local centre

April 1, 2009 9:52 AM
Cllr Sian Reid

Cllr Sian Reid

A prime university site in Cambridge should be developed as a local centre offering individual shops and community facilities - not a giant supermarket.

The view comes from Cambridge City Executive Councillor for Climate Change and Growth, Sian Reid who is concerned that a major store conflicts with an independent retail study carried out last year.

The University's suggestion that it build a large supermarket on its north-west site, which is bounded by Huntingdon Road, Madingley Road and the M11, emerged only very recently.

"We took land out of the green belt to build houses around a well-planned local centre with local shops, green space, and community facilities," Sian Reid said. "But a large supermarket could harm the viability of new shops emerging and would create serious transport issues and carbon emissions.

"Short term commercial pressures must not be allowed to harm the long term well being of

this development. It must be planned to become a wonderful place to live around a thriving local centre.

"Further, our studies show that there is simply no need in Cambridge for yet

another large supermarket."

The retail study carried out by Cambridge City Council and South Cambridgeshire District Council found that there was "no need to plan for further convenience goods development" in the city.

Larger stores could be built in the East Cambridgeshire district and at Northstowe town centre in conjunction with smaller shops elsewhere, the study says.

It also recommended that priority should be given to walking, cycling and public transport over extra car travel.

Cllr Reid said: "We have asked experts to look at Cambridge city and decide how best to develop its shopping and transport facilities - and now we are being asked to completely ignore what they have said.

"We need to create good local centres which are easily accessible and where small businesses can thrive alongside community facilities. "

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