TWO ageing blocks of flats are set to be demolished and the site completely redeveloped with new homes, following the completion of an extensive appraisal of the site by Cambridge City Council.
A two-year appraisal of the 1960s flats at Hanover Court and Princess Court off Hills Road considered four possible options for the site:
- Do nothing
- Retain the building in existing form and undertake essential repairs
- Retain the building and retrofit to achieve enhanced energy standards
- Redevelop the blocks through the Cambridge Investment Partnership
The appraisal identified a series of issues with the existing homes, including structural deficiencies, poor energy-efficiency, living spaces which are not up to modern standards and fire safety concerns. These, together with other factors, indicated that it would not prove cost effective to maintain or renovate the existing flats.
The analysis has therefore recommended that the most favourable option is for the existing blocks be demolished and replaced with new homes to provide much-needed accommodation built to high sustainability standards and modern specifications.
Detailed work will now take place to determine the exact nature of the new development and to support remaining residents to move to other accommodation while the redevelopment programme is carried out.
The council has been liaising closely with residents since 2021 about emerging proposals for the site, and has welcomed their contributions to the ongoing discussions, including at in-person consultation events.
The council has also been working closely with the existing council tenants and leaseholders at to keep them informed about progress, and to help them find suitable alternative housing. Many tenants of existing flats have been offered the opportunity to move home since early last year, including to the new developments at Mill Road and Cromwell Road, with compensation and disturbance payments made available to tenants and leaseholders.
Cllr Gerri Bird, Executive Councillor for Housing, said: “Redeveloping the site of Hanover Court and Princess Court will be an opportunity to replace outdated flats which have been falling into disrepair, with modern, sustainable 21st Century homes for residents offering great quality of life.
“There will be some upheaval for the remaining residents during the redevelopment, but we are determined to support them every step of the way to minimise disruption to their lives.”
Diana Minns, Tenant Representative on the Housing Scrutiny Committee and former resident of Hanover Court/Princess Court, said: “I am delighted that this decision to redevelop Hanover Court and Princess Court has been made. It follows extensive consultations with the people living there and with nearby residents, plus a thorough options appraisal process.
“Thanks are due to the city council for all the support being given to tenants moving out to a new home. Elected Housing Scrutiny Committee tenant representatives are part of a wider group that meets regularly to look at all consultations around future council housing developments. We are pleased to be a part of this process, and look forward to helping provide more sustainable, high standard council homes in the future.”
If approved, it is hoped that a planning application for the development will be submitted later this year, after detailed proposals are published. If approved, the site is expected to be developed through Cambridge Investment Partnership, the equal, 50:50 Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) between Cambridge City Council and Hill Investment Partnerships, set up to optimise the use of the council’s property through investment in residential, commercial, and other uses to achieve social and financial returns.