A planning Inspector has allowed an appeal by Queens’ College Cambridge, granting permission for an innovative postgraduate housing scheme at Owlstone Croft, in the Newnham area of the City. The appeal had been opposed by the City Council and a local group on design grounds, and by reference to the alleged impacts on the adjacent Paradise Nature Reserve, protected species and local amenity.
Rejecting those criticisms, the Inspector judged that the scheme (by James Turner of Stirling Prize-winning practice Mikhail Riches) would be of high quality in environmental and architectural terms and would improve the area in general. Combined with a sophisticated landscape design (by Jack Marshall of Seed Landscape Design), the buildings would sit well, the Inspector found, with the fringe of the City including the wooded nature reserve next to the site. Concerns over impacts on light-sensitive bats could be removed by appropriate conditions, as could drainage issues. The Inspector weighed the environmental specification of the scheme in its favour and found that the previously-developed appeal site would be well used, alleviating to some extent the pressure on the private rental market in Cambridge.