Hundreds of people from across the city have joined a major campaign opposing the demolition of an historic Cambridge house to make way for new flats.
Campaigners say 171 written objections have been sent to Cambridge City Council as plans to demolish a “beautiful” and historic Edwardian town house and to replace it with a block of flats.
The block at 291 Hills Road, which is recommended for approval at next Wednesdays planning committee meeting (April 25), will contain 15 flats with associated car parking.
Local residents fear the extra cars coming and going would cause “traffic chaos” at an already busy junction.
Some residents have expressed fears for the effect more cars in the area would have on air quality, as well as the impact on the area of the extra homes. Others have expressed sadness about the need to remove a significant number of trees in the area to make room for the new build.
Hills Road resident and campaigner James Berry said: “There is quite a large group of people working on the campaign to stop the flats. It started off as a small scale campaign, but it has quickly gone viral. I think the reason is this sort of thing is happening all over Cambridge.”
'It started off as a small scale campaign, but it has quickly gone viral'
Mr Berry said the campaigners were also concerned about the entrance and exit onto Hills Road at the junction with Long Road.
“It is a busy junction,” he said. “Putting an entrance there is asking for trouble. It is not the right place to put in extra traffic. It risks causing traffic chaos."
Jon Harris, an architectural historian, said the building should be considered of too much historical and architectural significance to be torn down.
“Its far too good, in my submission, to go,” he said in a report to the council. “It is, in my opinion, worth preserving and giving another hundred years life in its present, or recent, use as a much-loved family home.”
Another Cambridge resident said: “Replacing this house with an unattractive block of flats is totally out of keeping with the environmental character of this area.
“291 Hills Road is on an increasingly busy junction near to the rapidly expanding Addenbrookes hospital. The 15 flats with 16 parking places will escalate the traffic chaos, pollution, and risk of accidents.”
The plans are due to come before Cambridge City Councils planning committee next Wednesday (April 25). The committee is recommended to approve the plans.