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16/2028/FUL | Erection of 1.8 metre high fence adjacent to front boundary. | 285 - 287 Hills Road Cambridge Cambridgeshire CB2 8RP

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  • Total Consulted: 11
  • Comments Received: 6
  • Objections: 4
  • Supporting: 1
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282 Hills Road Cambridge Cambridgeshire CB2 8QE (Supports)

Comment submitted date: Wed 07 Jun 2017

I supported, rather weakly, this application when it as made. I was glad to learn that, when planning permission was granted, Emmanuel College was required to plant a hedge in front of their controversial new fence at 285 and 287 Hills Road. This the College has done, planting a mixed hedge of native shrubs between the fence and the footway. It should be rather attractive. Already it begins to conceal the line of the fence and enhances the view from my house across the road. I have even taken the trouble to water it during the recent dry weather! Now I learn that the Planning Committee are requiring that this hedge be scrapped as an insufficiently homogeneous replacement of the original hedge grubbed up last year. That hedge was not homogeneous, it was scruffy and ill assorted, certainly not, as alleged, an elegant yew. We now have in place an interesting new hedge designed by the experienced horticultural experts of the College's Garden Department. Can we not welcome this and rescind the demand that it be replaced by bland hazel, privet and hornbeam? It would be good to thank the College for its initiative and hint that a new ornamental tree planted outside 287 (to replace a sick chestnut felled a couple of years ago) would be much appreciated.

Comment submitted date: Tue 06 Dec 2016

A bland fence, visually unifying two properties into one institutional establishment, has been erected replacing an attractive though unkempt hedge. There is little point in removing the fence for that will not restore the previous greenery. The owners could though be required to provide some landscaping, particularly around the car park outside 287, including an ornamental tree. Emmanuel College is famous for its gardens so this could be but a small challenge.

269 Hills Road Cambridge Cambridgeshire CB2 8RP (Objects)

Comment submitted date: Thu 29 Dec 2016

Dear Mr Makwana, Case Officer

Re: RE: 285-287 Hills Road 16/2028/FUL
Erection of 1.8 metre high fence to front boundary (retrospective

I am Chair of the Hills Road Area Residents Association (representing Hills Rd and neighbouring roads). At our last residents meeting I was asked to write on behalf of the Association and object to the ugly 50m frontage of hit and miss fence that Emmanuel College have erected in front of their medical hostel at Nos 285-27 Hills Road, CB2 RP. For information, I will also forward a letter including before and after photos of the hedge and fence to the Case officer which includes photos of the attractive mature yew hedge there before - see below:


Next: The ugly 'hit and miss' fence the College have replaced the yew hedge with.

From evidence of where the yew hedge was, it seems the fence above was constructed beyond the boundary line, i.e. nearer the highway. Advised of this long before works were finished, the College moved a section of the fence further back. ( Photo)
But they made no attempt to lower the fence despite letters to Emmanuel's Bursar. The City Council's Planning Enforcement officer, Niall Crotty informed the Residents Association that Emmanuel had breached planning law. He would raise an enforcement case. Emmanuel then applied for retrospective planning permission, plastering their application with photos of other fencing on Hills Road and citing 'bike security' as a reason for ripping out the mature yew hedge.
There is no evidence that bike security is a big issue on this residential road. The entrances to the medical hostel have always been left open, like most of the entrances on Hills Road. Most Hills Road residents have bikes too.
There would have been ample garden space for the College to have put a new bike store elsewhere, or to have secured the new bike store with a lock.
Why didn't Emmanuel College respect the planning process?
1. The trees and hedges of Hills Road are listed in the City Council's Hills Road Suburbs and Approaches Heritage Report as an attractive feature of Hills Road. Beacon's Hills Road Suburbs & Approach Heritage Report is cited by the submitted Cambridge Local Plan, so this is a material planning consideration. The Report refers to 'the softly landscaped boundaries of the majority of the houses' and 'the bosky (that means wooded) character of the road'. It makes the point that the green infrastructure of Hills Road, particularly its trees and hedges, are a valuable city amenity, enjoyed not just by Hills Rd and Queen Edith's residents, but by the many users of this very busy city road. Hills Road is the main approach to Addenbrookes' Hospital and the BioMedical Campus.
2. It seems to our residents' association that ripping out a mature yew hedge on a busy arterial road and replacing it with 50 m of 1.8 m ugly fence with consequent loss of amenity impacts on the whole city.
3. Neighbours received no notification from the College, no consultation, yet there is a Residents Association. Residents have commented on the College's lack of neighbourliness - their unfriendliness.
4. Trees and greenery are important for bio-diversity, another material consideration. They also provide a buffer against pollution. 285-287 Hills Rd is a hostel for medical students. Cambridge's poor air quality poses serious health problems particularly for residents living on (or near) busy roads that suffer congestion.
5. Members of the residents' association have pointed out Emmanuel's Senior Tutor, , is Reader in Macromolecular Pharmacology at the University of Cambridge. Is ripping out a mature yew hedge on a busy main road an appropriate action for a large medical hostel (with a Senior Tutor who is a high level medic) to have taken on a main road with congestion? Surely all Cambridge residents have the right to expect any new development to respect their right to clean air?
1. The Hills Road Area Residents Association would like the fence lowered and a mature, sustainable hedge planted in front of it.
2. They would like confirmation from Highways there is sufficient room for a sustainable mature hedge to be planted next to the highway.
3. The College have moved one section of the fence further back following comments.
4. For sustainability and to avoid any future problems re highways boundary the whole fence needs to be correctly sited. If a hedge is to be planted method statements from the cycleway team regarding protection of planting should also be obtained

Yours sincerely,

Chair, Hills Road Area Residents Association

269 Hills Road Cambridge Cambridgeshire CB2 8RP (Objects)

Comment submitted date: Sat 24 Dec 2016

Previously there was an attractive yew hedge, in keeping with the character of the road. This illegally erected fence is ugly. It should preferably be removed altogether,and replaced by a new hedge of mature plants, or failing that a new hedge should be planted between the fence and the road

271 Hills Road Cambridge Cambridgeshire CB2 8RP (Objects)

Comment submitted date: Sun 11 Dec 2016

As a resident of Hills Road, I cherish the need to preserve greenery and varied foliage to prevent the street from becoming little more than an urban highway. As a cyclist I enjoy observing the hedges and trees along the road, which create a pleasant landscape and help to address pollution. I request that a hedge of some kind be planted outside the fence if the fence is needed for security reasons.

289 Hills Road Cambridge Cambridgeshire CB2 8RP (Objects)

Comment submitted date: Sat 10 Dec 2016

This 1.8m fence exceeds the 1m permitted at a highway boundary. At most a 1m fence should be placed in this position.

The fence is poorly finished and an eyesore. The cheap "hit and miss" style of construction is out of keeping with the other fences on Hills Road.

A mature yew hedge was removed in order to construct this fence. This should be replaced.

Neighbours were not consulted.

Where is the evidence of security violations to justify the erection of this fence? In fact since the construction of the fence the gates have been wide open - there does not seem to be much concern over security at the site.

253 Hills Road Cambridge Cambridge Cambridgeshire CB2 8RP (Neutral)

Comment submitted date: Fri 09 Dec 2016

I would just ask that yew or similar hedge saplings be planted at the base of the fence to grow up through it to soften the line and eventually restore the greenery that has been lost by the removal of the previous hedge - thanks

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