Plans to remove the neighbourhood convenience store from Fitzroy Street in Cambridge’s Grafton Area have been changed following a series of talk with the local Lib Dem city councillors.
As reported previously in the local media, the new owners of 2-14 Fitzroy Street, Brydell Partners, had intended to turn most of the major street level retail units into laboratory space for Life Science start-ups, eliminating the stores currently occupied by Waitrose and Greggs. Following discussions with Lib Dem Cllr Tim Bick, Brydell have written to council planners changing their vision and retaining space for the Waitrose convenience store, confining non-retail use of the building to a smaller part of the ground floor and all of the upper storeys.
This comes after door-to-door campaigning by the local Lib Dems highlighted widespread concern about the potential loss of the popular amenities, reflected by scores of signatures on a petition to landowners in the area.
Cllr Bick said:
“This is positive news for the surrounding residents who rely of the convenience store at the heart of their neighbourhood. We are right now writing to them to let them know about it [attached below].
"I am pleased that Brydell was willing to listen to us and recognise that a convenience store could sit well alongside their other plans for the rest of the building. I am well aware that nothing is guaranteed forever in commercial relationship between landlord and tenant, but I am satisfied that Brydell and Waitrose have, with our encouragement, worked together to create the right conditions for a continuation after the existing lease runs out in two years’ time. We will now be talking with the other, larger new owner in Fitzroy Street, Trinity Investments, to discuss with them eventually make available a new home for Greggs, which could also continue to thrive as more of the surrounding area is used for non-retail workspace.”