Report recommends Park Street site be redeveloped as hotel and underground car and cycle park

    A REPORT for Cambridge City Council is recommending that Park Street Car Park be redeveloped as a hotel – potentially an aparthotel – and a new underground car and cycle park below it.

    Last November councillors approved a rolling programme of refurbishments for Park Street Car Park, to be carried out while further plans for the possible long term redevelopment of the site were investigated, resulting in this report.

    Since then the Cambridge Investment Partnership (CIP) has been reviewing options for the site, including commercially viable options for the site.

    Following this review, CIP concluded that:

    • Developing the site for offices and student accommodation is not considered to be a viable option, and the viability of the site for housing was also discounted in the earlier report;
    • Following market testing, development of a hotel on the site over a new basement car park is considered to be the most viable option, optimising benefits to the city and its residents.

    A report going to the council’s Strategy and Resources Scrutiny Committee on 19 March recommends developing an aparthotel over a basement car park to provide 225 car parking spaces (circa 40% fewer than the current 390 spaces), plus cycle parking, facilities for electric vehicle charging and with the intention of including associated toilets and a Changing Places facility.

    The council would retain the freehold of the site and would own and manage the new car and cycle park.

    This proposed option is also projected to provide the council with additional
    capital funding which will be invested in land for council housing on other sites.

    Cllr Lewis Herbert, Leader of the Council, said: “This proposal to develop a new hotel and an underground car and large, secure cycle park at Park Street offers, subject to completing negotiations, an excellent deal for the city and solution for the site. It will also add a long-term economic boost for the area north of the historic city core.

    “The development will provide an upgraded council car and cycle park in a location on the northern edge of the historic core city that is essential to serve people arriving from the north and west, and which replaces a building past its sell-by date.

    “The reduction to 60% of current car capacity also meshes with plans to switch thousands more future journeys to public transport and improve local air quality. An aparthotel will also increase the diversity of visitor accommodation in the city to ensure the city can increase the length of stays and local benefit gained compared to one day tourism.

    “In addition, we are determined to use receipts from the development to help us in building our target of 500 new affordable rent council homes that we are committed to providing in the next five years.

    “Throughout the redevelopment process we will establish a local Liaison Committee and work closely with local residents and businesses to ensure disruption is kept to a minimum, and to plan alternate car parking during the build.”

    If the recommendations in the report are approved at Strategy and Resources Scrutiny Committee on Monday 19 March, Cambridge Investment Partnership will lead work on identifying and appointing an appropriate developer for this multi-use site in order to complete the financial deal, and on the planning application process.

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