Concerns over new Peterborough university multi-storey

Concerns have been raised over plans for a multi-storey car park at Peterborough’s new university.

Monday, 29th March 2021, 6:37 am

Residents living nearby the proposed 400 space car park have highlighted a range of potential issues including an increase in traffic and noise, a loss of green space and a lack of privacy.

Questions have also been raised as to who will be able to access the car park, and at what times, while there is disgruntlement that the number of spaces proposed has increased from the original plan of 180.

Among those who are unhappy with the proposals are Carole and Martin Ferguson who live opposite where the multi-storey is due to be built in Bishop’s Road.

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Bishop's Road residents who are campaiging against the location of the new university multi-storey car park EMN-210323-100617009

Carole said: “Our major concern is an increase in traffic in the area which is already congested a lot in rush hour and the road is susceptible to flooding.

“We’re worried about being overlooked, noise and pollution. There is also a school across the road (Bishop Creighton Academy) and we’re worried about the safety of the pupils.

“It’s public space - once it’s gone, it’s gone. It will change the feel of the area completely.

“They’ve just knocked down the multi-storey at Northminster. Can’t they do something there? And we’re meant to be a green city, should we not be keeping it greener?

A message left on a tree at the site

“I’ve been stressed and uneasy since I’ve heard it going’s ahead. We will open the curtains and all we’ll see is the car park.”

Martin added: “There is concern over the loss of green space. Open space is good for you mentally and for your wellbeing.”

There have been a number of concerns raised about the proposed loss of space at the Embankment, an issue which was addressed by the new principal of ARU Peterborough Ross Renton in a recent interview with the Peterborough Telegraph where he said the university will deliver a net gain in public open space of approximately 4,000m2.

A planning application for the multi-storey was submitted earlier this year as part of plans for a new three-storey manufacturing and materials research and development centre.

A site plan for the new research and development centre

The building itself would be accessed via a new road off Bishop’s Road, while new bus stops nearby are also proposed.

The car park - which it is anticipated would be built at the same time as the research centre - would be accessed via a new T-junction which would also serve the existing Regional Pool car park.

A decision on the application is expected to be made by the end of June.

Sound engineer Jason Emberton, who lives with his wife, two children and mum opposite the proposed car park, said: “We’re very shocked with the idea of a multi-storey going up near a parade of Victorian houses. I’ve never seen that before - it just beggars belief.

A site plan for the new research and development centre

“There will only be a 15m buffer to the houses and it will be slightly taller which is a massive concern.

“Low frequency noises will go straight through our houses. This is very stressful and people along the road are losing sleep over it.

“I’m all for the university which is needed, but they must have other options of where they can place the car park.”

The first teaching building at the campus, which is due to open for the first cohort of students in September 2022 on the site of the former Wirrina Car Park, will have 48 parking spaces.

A spokesperson for the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority, which is leading the university project, said: “The car park is intended for people accessing the university buildings as well as members of the public.

“The exact number of spaces within the car park is yet to be confirmed. In order to provide flexibility the outline application has been put in with a maximum number of 400 spaces.

A location plan for the proposed new multi-storey

“Opening times and pricing for the car park are yet to be determined.”