The Cambridge Hotel – II

Only a couple of days ago we showed a photo of the interior of the Cambridge Hotel in its current state.  We should have done our homework a bit earlier, so that we could also have announced that the redevelopment of the site had just been approved by the borough council.  Specifically, the scheme is for the: “Erection of a part three storey part four storey building containing 21 flats (3 studios, 8 one beds and 10 two beds), including conversion of Cambridge Hotel building with its ground floor as a flexible retail, restaurant/cafe or public house use, and demolition of two storey/single storey part of hotel building and attached nightclub with parking, bin and cycle storage.”

We wrote about the plans much earlier this year, when we included the following sketch of the new development

The former nightclub now looks very sorry for itself, so we welcome the new look.


‘Ask Me’ looking a lot more businesslike

It’s probably been obvious that the relocated ‘Ask Me’ point in The Square was only a temporary arrangement.  The desk reminded us of a stage prop – something insubstantial that could be wheeled away rapidly when the scenery was changed.  However, the new desk gives a much more professional appearance.  We must think of something to ask!!

(We imagine that the stepladder won’t be a permanent feature……)

Play it again Sam – AGAIN!

At the beginning of this year, we wrote the following about Norwich House – the office block at the top of Knoll Road. (We titled the article ‘Play it again, Sam’.  Hence the title of THIS article):

 “For something like four years, we’ve been writing about what we believe are the hopes/intention of the owners of Norwich House, at the top of Knoll Road, to turn the building into flats. Eighteen months or so ago, a planning application was registered to turn the building into: “33 one bedroom and 24 two bedroom flats whilst retaining existing basement car parking.”. This followed an application nearly three years ago “for the conversion of existing B1 Offices to form 16 one bedroom units and 37 two bedroom units.” But, a new application has just been published for a “change of Use from Offices to residential in the form of 24 Studio, 46 one bedroom and 2 two bedroom flats.” ”


As we wrote last time, under government ‘rules’ there are few grounds on which this application can be disallowed. We suspect that the conversion will go ahead if and when the owner wishes.

But, now it appears that Norwich House owners have more expansive ideas.  A planning application was recently submitted for:

“….the change of use from offices (Class B1a) to residential (Class C3) to include 78 flats (including 4no. studio, 66no. one bedroom and 8no. two bedroom flats).”

So, at the beginning this year, the plan was for 72 flats – but it’s now for 78.  Squeeze up, a bit, everyone?

Big Brother will be arriving – eventually

This photo is not one of our better efforts.  But you can probably work out that it shows a robust post being installed in Pembroke Broadway – and that this happened weeks ago before the new bus stops were commissioned.  Unless we’re mistaken, the post is already carrying a CCTV camera so that Big Brother can keep an eye on us.  (Though, to be fair, there used to be such a camera a bit further up the road.  This was removed as part of the reconfiguring of the road and pavement.)

Be Inspired – or Be Infected?

The borough council urges us to ‘Be Inspired’.  But Brian has sent us pictures of the handrail in Main Square car park, with the following comments: “[Here is] the hand rail upright in the main car park stairs by the escalators. The further down the stairs you go the worse it gets. Looks like it has never been cleaned. Yuk..”.

“Regular cleaning the areas touched by hand would be a good step forward. It is a health hazard as it is. The cost would be minimal…

The good news, Brian, is that a few months ago the borough council wrote to us: “Once the resurfacing [of the car park] is completed, then work will begin on stairwell refurbishment together with the installation of brighter and more energy efficient LED lighting throughout the car park – all due for completion by the end of 2018.”  So the ‘health hazard’ will presumably have been eliminated by the New Year.

On the other hand, it’s probably a couple of years since the borough council first wrote to us with a similar message about refurbishing the stairwell.  So ‘Be Infected’ may be around for a while yet.  Hand wipes, anyone?

Capigi – how long can it go on??

Nearly eight months ago we took a photo of Capigi’s shop in the High Street.  It had recently posted in its windows the fact that it was holding a ‘Closing Down Sale’.

In the last few weeks we’ve seen large advertisements in the local paper also announcing that big changes are afoot.  But the shop’s still open, as our latest photo shows….  For how much longer, we wonder.