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28 October 2014

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Artist impression of the developed mill
Artist impression of the developed mill

CB1 Development - What's the plan?

The scrub ground next to Cambridge Station that was used for rally-type parking (let's just say that even Colin MaCrea would have thought twice!) is in-line for one mammoth nip 'n' tuck...

"The HRCC will be a flagship project for joined up working in the East of England and a significant base for culture in Cambridge."
Ian Stewart, Chief Executive of Cambridgeshire County Council

This area in Cambridge, which has remained static for many years, will now be rejuvenated as a result of the plans being proposed by Ashwell, subject to the approval of the planning authority. Lord Rogers has been appointed as master planner and lead architect, and his team will be designing the statement buildings and public realm - in total, over half of the £725 million scheme.

Working in conjunction with Network Rail Property, the proposed development centres around the Grade II listed station building, the character of which will be retained. The surroundings to the station will be enhanced with a new public square, to improve pedestrian flow, and improve the vistas from and to the station frontage.

Phase 1 of CB1 will be a new 90,000 sq ft commercial building worth £18m which is due to get underway in February 2006.

CB1 covers 24 acres (9.6 ha, 1.94m sq ft) and overall the scheme will include:

• 990,000 sq ft of residential space, comprising 1,100 residential units, 30 per cent of which will be affordable accommodation for Addenbrookes Hospital.

• 494,628 sq ft of commercial space.

• 410,067 sq ft of health, leisure, hotel & museum.

Artist impression of the developed mill
Artist impression of the developed mill

• 43,305 sq ft of retail, restaurants & bars.

A New Cultural Centre for Cambridge

Part of the development includes a new cultural centre planned for the former Mill situated next to the station which is perhaps best known locally as Spillers Mill. The large battlemented mill building was constructed in 1894 for the Foster family and was designed by Calder & Kitchen of Hull.  It's considered an important landmark building, as it is a rare industrial building in Cambridge and also, is one of the biggest buildings in the city. 

In 1917 the Fosters sold the mill to Pauls and in 1947 it was sold on to Spillers. Then, in 2000 it was owned by Rank Hovis and in 2001 it was announced that they would vacate the site, allowing it to be re-developed.

Ashwell Property Group (the group behind the main development) are proposing the Historical Resource and Cultural Centre (HRCC) for Cambridgeshire County Council with plans that the Centre will provide high quality storage for the county’s unique archive collections, with state-of-the-art protection and preservation facilities.

In addition, the world famous Cambridgeshire Collection - currently housed within Cambridge Central Library - is also expected to move into the same building and office accommodation for staff who work in the archives, arts, museums and archaeology services of the County Council will also be provided.

Working in partnership with other museums and galleries, libraries and schools across Cambridgeshire, the Centre aims to develop outreach services for areas of social need and rural deprivation.

It is also expected that the HRCC will become a key component of e-government and e-learning in Cambridgeshire, with links to the Cambridgeshire Community Network (CCN) which will enable resources to be accessed remotely from other heritage offices, schools, libraries, museums and galleries.

So, the rallying has stopped.  The development has begun.  And the City prepares for a big lift.

last updated: 18/11/05
Have Your Say
What do you think about the plans? Let us know...
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A Roberts
It is long over due but,like most new development in Cambridge, the architecture lacks innovation and wow factor. If the development in rustat road is anything to go by, substitute 'mundane' for 'affordable'.

Emily Pike
i would not like you to build any more houses as i think we shud all live in tents and not where any clothes as i want to show off my webbed toes. i also think we shud drive vw campervans with flowers on. FREEDOM!!!!

Milly Clark
I am very intrested in in the new CB1 flagship scheme and think that it will make a huge difference to the entrance of Cambridge. Well Done

This redevelopment of the station and surrounding areas is _long_ overdue. I can only hope that the City Council take the opportunity to create a development that says "Welcome to Cambridge" instead of the dreary, miserable and inacessible area we currently have.

For cyclists, the most frequently used approach to the railway station is from north (e.g. the cycle bridge). Putting a single cycle park to the south of the station will increase traffic and is likely to create nuisance.

Janet Lindley
I have had a look at the plans - the change in road layout and new traffic flow looks good. But the cycle parking provision is too far from the station entrance to be usable - if that is not adjusted in the plans then people will either park bikes anywhere they can nearby or stop cycling and that would be a real shame.

Warren Hudson
To have the Library so close to the rail station would be a real advantage for out of town visitors.

Above all, the station's access must come first. 6,000,000 plus journies are made through its cramped facilities a year and any redevelopment must ease their way and in no way make things worse. That said,the overall plan will certainly make this neglected gateway much more impressive/ welcoming.

Colin MaCrea? Think you'll find thats Colin McRae. Your proofraeder needs a slap :-)

I am all for redevelopment that is in the interests of the community at large not just a minority. If 30% of the available accomodation is priced affordably for Addenbrookes staff this is something laudable. That is 'IF' it ends up like this. I would hate to think that the environment becomes a space for only those with a sizeable wallet as well as large commercial interests. What ability does the community have to ensure that their needs are incorporated? Looking at the design in the local paper it looks as though many of the new buildings will be quite high. Do we yet know whether they are in keeping with the generally low Cambridge skyline that is one of its nicer features?

The redevelopment cannot come soon enough,I often have to drop friends and family at the station,It is horrendous!I hope the 20 minute parking area will be much bigger,this is reduced by half when the emergency buses are there! As to leaving a cycle there-forget it. All this is if you can negotiate Station Road! I shall visit the public exhibition, at St Pauls Church to view the proposals.

Hopefully some redevelopment of the access to Cambridge Rail station will be included. Trying to get in or out of the station in rush hour is a nightmare and a hazard for all concerned - buses, taxis, pedestrians, bikes and cars!

Cambridge city should have good public transport links with other towns and cities with in East Anglia. I'm talking about traines and trams systems. This idea will generate hundred millions of pounds for the city.

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