Residents quizzed on plans for new city supermarkets

July 2, 2010 1:36 PM
Clare Blair

Clare Blair

Cambridge residents are to be asked their views on ambitious plans for new supermarkets serving three major housing estates on the north west side of the city.

Consultants, recruited jointly by Cambridge City Council and South Cambridgeshire District Council, are looking at various options which will be put out for public consultation in the autumn.

The Cambridge University site between Huntingdon Road, Madingley Road and the M11, the NIAB site and Orchard Park are all poorly served by food shops at the moment.

Studies have shown that local residents travel out of the city to supermarkets at Bar Hill and Milton.

Although no clear preferences have been decided upon for solving the problems, it has been agreed that the best option for Orchard Park would be to continue with a planned small, local size supermarket.

Both councils have committed in the current plans, to provide 1,625 square metres of food retail space on the university site, 1,170 square metres on the NIAB site in Huntingdon Road and 358 square metres at Orchard Park.

Options include:

Two medium sized supermarkets at the university site and NIAB and the planned small supermarket at Orchard Park;

one superstore at the university site plus a medium sized supermarket at NIAB and a small one at Orchard Park.

one superstore at NIAB plus a medium sized supermarket at the university site and a small one at Orchard Park.

The options will be put out for full public consultation between September 6 and October 18.

Clare Blair, Cambridge City Executive Councillor for Climate Change and Growth said: "It is clear that the residents of north west Cambridge are poorly served with food shops at the moment and we need to address this issue.

"But it is imperative that we get it right to make sure that we don't add to the city's congestions problem and ensure that people have suitable transport links."

Cambridgeshire County Councillor, Belinda Brooks-Gordon has led a formidable campaign against a superstore on the university site.

She said: "I would like to see individual shops and community facilities on this site, not a giant supermarket. The idea was to build homes round a well-planned local centre and shops. If a large supermarket were built on this site it would lead to serious transport issues and increased carbon emissions."

Castle Ward Councillor, Tania Zmura said: "It is imperative that we listen to the people living close to these sites. If we get this wrong the city will be paying the price in terms of traffic and transport problems, for years to come."

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