Abbeygate House in Cambridge – home to the BHF Shop

A new building of up to six floors will replace the three-story block in Cambridge which houses the British Heart Foundation store on the ground floor and offices above.

City councilors unanimously approved plans for Abbeygate House, in East Road, which will maintain retail space on the ground floor, with offices on the upper floors.

Plans for Abbeygate House in East Road, Cambridge. Photo: Pavilion Property Trustees (52902791)

The new building will be in tiers, which will make it part of three floors, part of four floors and part of six floors.

Two garden terraces are planned on the roofs of the lower parts for office workers.

There will be no parking, apart from disabled parking spaces, with 194 bicycle parking spaces provided for office workers and store staff.

Concerns had been expressed by people living opposite the site about the impact of the redevelopment on noise and traffic, as well as the eclipse of their homes.

An objection submitted to the city council said: “The road is already in constant use, morning, noon and all night. This work will cause chaos and increase the traffic, fumes and noise that we already have every day.

“The building will restrict the light entering homes and decrease the quality of life, even more so for those of us who work from home.

“Blocking out natural light is unacceptable, it will eclipse communal gardens as well, more than buildings already do. “

In a report to the planning committee last Wednesday (November 3), officers acknowledged that the size of the building would result in “some enclosure and an increase in the level of dominance” over some houses across the street.

But due to the positioning of the residential buildings and the remoteness of the new building, this was not considered “important enough to be considered harmful”.

Plans for Abbeygate House in East Road, Cambridge.  Photo: Pavilion Property Trustees (52902793)
Plans for Abbeygate House in East Road, Cambridge. Photo: Pavilion Property Trustees (52902793)

The claimant pavilion property trustee agent told the meeting: “The existing building does not make any positive contribution to the local environment and has no architectural value.

“The replacement building is a modern, high quality and sustainable design.

“The proposals make a positive contribution to the city’s building environment, and they will create new employment opportunities and form part of the improvements to East Road.”

Cllr Martin Smart said he didn’t like the design to begin with, but “warmed up” to it and accepted that it would be a “big improvement” over the existing building, which he bought. described as “pretty bad”.

Cllr Katie Thornburrow, who is an architect, said she wanted to “really encourage” planning officers to “expect the best materials” when the developer comes up with them.

The advisers requested that the developer be advised to ensure that bicycle storage is accessible for different types of bikes over the use of gas bike racks, to make them easier to use.

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