Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category


Sunday, February 8th, 2015

Sainsbury’s have applied for an alcohol licence for 78-80 Mill Road (currently the Mace store). They have applied for a licence to sell alcohol from 7am until 11pm, seven days a week.

The store is in a Cumulative Impact Zone, which means that there is a presumption that an application will be refused. This means they won’t automatically get the licence, and that the council will take note of the concerns of local people. So it’s very important that you tell the council if you don’t want a Sainsbury’s Local selling cheap alcohol 16 hours a day, 7 days a week on Mill Road.

If you wish to express a view about this application, please comment here:


The deadline for comment is Friday 13 February.

Grounds for comment on the application

You need to be an interested party to comment on the application. An interested party is a neighbour and/or a neighbouring business. So if you live or run a business in the Mill Road area, your views are important.

Comments on licensing applications will only be considered if they relate to the four licensing objectives. These are:

– The prevention of crime and disorder
– Public Safety
– The prevention of public nuisance
– The protection of children from harm

The Council Licensing Guidelines state that “each objective is of equal importance”. You can comment on as many or as few of these as you wish, but please make sure that you stick to these areas.

Issues that might be relevant include things like:
Your experience of current alcohol-related problems on Mill Road (disorder, noise, violence).
The fact that the store would be selling alcohol for longer hours than Mace.

The licensing officer and the licensing committee will not be interested in arguments about anything except these objectives and you will damage the credibility of your comments if you include irrelevant issues such as what you think about a Sainsbury’s store opening up on Mill Road.


Isn’t there already a licence to sell alcohol in this shop, so isn’t the existing licence just being transferred?

No. The current shop has a licence but Sainsbury’s have applied for a new premises licence. This may be because they are asking for longer hours for alcohol sales, it may be because there are so many problems associated with the sale of alcohol from this site. But whatever the reason, they are asking for a new licence.

Won’t they automatically get it?

No. The shop is in a cumulative impact zone. Cambridge Council Licensing Guidelines say that:

A cumulative impact policy seeks to address the potentially detrimental effects of one or more licensing objectives on a concentration of licensed premises in a particular area.

This means that if relevant representations are received, which indicate that the grant of a licence will have a negative cumulative impact on the area, there is a presumption that the application will be refused unless the applicant can show that they will not add to the cumulative impact already being experienced.

So Sainsbury’s will need to show what they are doing to address this problem. But they don’t.

But Sainsbury’s application shows how they will avoid adding to the cumulative impact, doesn’t it?

No, they haven’t mentioned it at all. This is strange because they’ve been trying to move onto Mill Road for 4 years, and it’s been a Cumulative Impact Zone for the whole time, so they obviously haven’t bothered to pay any attention to the area. We think that’s very disrespectful to us as a community living with the effects of Mill Road’s serious alcohol problems. Sainsbury’s have told us that they are “proud of our reputation as a good neighbour”, but they don’t show any signs of wanting to be a good neighbour here.

Won’t Sainsbury’s be responsible licence holders? After all, they’re a national chain with decades of experience in selling alcohol.

Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. Sainsbury’s want to open up a Sainsbury’s Local here, one of the small stores (like a Tesco Express). These stores are mostly used for small, top-up grocery shopping trips and so they have to rely on alcohol sales to make a profit. No alcohol licence = no profits.

That’s why a lawyer for Sainsbury’s told a licensing hearing in Hebden Bridge last year that “I’m virtually sure that Sainsbury’s Local wouldn’t open this store if it didn’t get the alcohol licence”.

It seems to be the same here: Sainsbury’s haven’t signed a lease on the site yet and we think they’re waiting to see if they get an alcohol licence before they do. That tells us how much they will depend on selling lots of alcohol on Mill Road.

There are already problems with alcohol-related noise and disturbance in this part of Mill Road. What have Sainsbury’s said they will do to stop this increasing because of their late-night alcohol sales at the shop?

Sainsbury’s say that “signage will be displayed at the exit of the premises requesting customers leaving the premises late at night to do so quietly and with consideration so as not to disturb nearby residents.”

And what else?


But Sainsbury’s are promising to limit the strength of the beer and lager they sell, so that will take care of the problem won’t it?

No, they aren’t. Sainsbury’s say they won’t sell single cans of beer or cider with an Alcohol By Volume (ABV) over 5.5.%, or in single bottles of less than 500ml or more than 1.5 litres. But that wouldn’t stop them selling lots of cheap, strong lager and cider.

For example, they could sell 2 litre bottles of Sainsbury’s cider (5.3% ABV), which only costs £2.65, or a 2 litre bottle of Strongbow. And they could still sell 4 packs of Special Brew, and spirits and wine. And like all Sainsbury’s Local stores they would have special offers on all of these, making cheap, strong alcohol even cheaper.

Two Days To Go

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014


Two days to go
Please register by 12 noon today to speak at the planning meeting. If you could let us know by posting on Facebook this will give us some idea about the number of potential speakers.
Check out
for the Planning Committee and Demonstration Event
See you on Wednesday

Mickey Flynn’s Planning Application

Monday, November 3rd, 2014



The Mickey Flynn applications will be heard at 12.30 on Weds Nov 5 at the new single citywide Planning Committee, which has taken the place of the local Area Committees. The decision to change the structure was taken without consultation and further reduces the ability of local communities to be heard in the planning process. The Planning Committee will now meet at the Guildhall during the daytime, when many interested parties won’t be able to attend. Worse still is the fact that they are only allowing one speaker for and one against for a total of 3 minutes each.
We ask everyone to contact or phone 01223 457013 and register to speak no later than 12 noon on Tuesday. We want to show the extent of opposition to the potential use of this warehouse-sized unit as an A1 convenience store and its impact on the viability and vitality of the independent shops on Mill Road. Please register whether or not you are able to attend.
We are also holding a protest outside the Guildhall at 9am as the Councillors arrive for the morning session. Please join us

Change of Date of East Area Committee meeting

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

The meeting of the East Area Committee has now been changed. Please note that the meeting will now be held on the 5th NOVEMBER 20014. Hope to see you then.

More details to follow when we get them.

Mill Road Society: Managment Committee

Friday, September 5th, 2014

The Mill Road Society relies upon a dedicated group of volunteers to keep it going. The committee is made up local residents who have an active interest in keeping the area unique and independent. We want to celebrate Mill Road for what it is and what it can be. We wish you protect its unique character, and maintain the area as a viable alternative to the “clone zone” city centre.

If you are interested in getting involved in any of this work please let us know at You can either volunteer to help or take a more active role in joining the committee. Currently the committee are (elected 30/01/2014):

Rob Birch, Kati Preston, Sheila Jeffery, and Simon Gonsall.

If you wish to join the committee and help out you do not have to wait until the next AGM.  You can be co-opted at any time.  Just drop us a line and we will set the wheels in motion.

All help is most welcome.


Mickey Flynn’s Planning Application Meeting and further information

Sunday, August 31st, 2014

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The meeting of the East Area committee to decide the planing application for Mickey Flynn’s Pool and Snooker Hall will take place at Cherry Tree Day Centre, St Matthew’s St, Cambridge CB1 2LT on the 11 September at 7.00 pm. The meeting is free to attend and if you have any interest in the future and the sustainability of our small independent traders on Mill Road your support will be most welcome.

Please see below a letter to from the Mill Road Society to the traders of Mill Road. This was written in response to Dawecroft/Micky Flynn’s visiting the traders who signed our petition, (objecting to the application for change of use), and asking them to take their names of it.

Dear fellow traders on Mill Road

As a member of Mill Road Traders Association and a Trader on Mill Road who has campaigned and worked hard to promote the unique and special nature of Mill Road, I feel I should keep you updated, as there currently seems to be a lot of misinformation around the Mickey Flynn application.

1. Should planning be approved for A1 use the proprietors of Mickey Flynn expect to ask Januarys to offer the lease to prospective tenants and then choose – not the highest bidder – but someone they consider will be good for Mill Road. But in 2011, they argued that a Sainsbury’s convenience store would be good for Mill Road.  In the current application, Januarys specifically states that Policy 6/8 allows additional convenience shops within existing centres provided the floorspace does not exceed 1,400 sqm net, so the building would comply.

2. According to the planning system, explained to us by Tony Collins, the planning officer overseeing these planning applications, should the Applicant fail to get A1 permission, but get planning permission for Classes A2 (professional services), A3 (restaurants or cafés) and A4 (drinking establishments), they can subsequently change this to A1 use without having to get planning permission.

3. Dawecroft have put their own interests at the heart of all their applications. By contrast Mill Road Society, including residents and traders, have put the interests of our community first, and the survival of our local independent and family-run A1 food retail shops. A convenience chainstore supermarket has nothing to add to Mill Road. Like other stores of this type, checkouts will most likely be automated and will not provide jobs. Many of the things that the community is trying to achieve: a unique character focused around its shops, arts, fairs and culturally diverse groups, will be undermined.

We urge you to stand by your petition signature.


Another thing to consider with this planning application is that we are led to believe that the rented value of the property is between £75,000 – £80,000 per year.  It is hard to see who would be able to afford that amount of annual rent (+ business rates) other than a large multination corporation.  Which in common language means a chain store/supermarket/ or any other inappropriate retail store on Mill Road.

Offical objections to the change of use of Mickey Flynn’s Pool Hall from the Mill Road Society

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

Please see below the official objections submission from the Mill Road Society regarding both planning application on Mickey Flynn’s.   Click on the link to see documents.  We understand some individuals are being pointed towards the website to see our objections and it was thought best if the official documents were shown. Apologies for the size of the documents but such is the nature of these things. We hope this clarifies our position on this matter.


Mill Road Society objection to 14:0964:FUL

Mill Road Society Objection to 0966

Please sign the petition

Sunday, July 20th, 2014

If you have not signed the paper petition against the new Mickey Flynn paper petitions please sign the online petition here:

Please circulate to you own networks.

There is still time to make objections on the planning portal as we understand that the planning officer, Tony Collins, will accept representations until the 5th of August.
You can use our guide of objections or you can simply object without a comment.
Please make sure you object to both of the planning applications.

Mill Road Society

Planning Objections

Monday, July 14th, 2014

Please see below details of how you can object to planning applications for Micky Flynn’s pool hall. You can cut and paste the information contained and/or add your own objections as well. Let’s show them that despite their repeated attempts to force this change through we will continue to fight for the right to have a say in the way our OWN community is shaped and formed.  Remember….


Mickey Flynn’s Planning Applications:

Change of use from Pool and Snooker Club to A1 (Shops)

Change of use from Pool & Snooker Club to A2 (Financial & Professional Services), A3 (Restaurant & Cafes) and A4 (Drinking Establishments) in the alternative.

The snooker hall has once again made an application for change of use to A1 shop use. This has been refused twice previously as a result of community opposition. There is a second application for change of use to a range of other possibilities.

Previous A1 applications were made in order to allow for a Sainsbury store. Sainsbury are not leading this particular application. We once again we strongly oppose these applications and ask you to send your objections before the deadline of 15th July on the Cambridge City Council Planning Portal:


The key points for objections are as follows:

1. The two new applications are again seeking broad and unspecific change of use for Mickey Flynn’s Pool Hall; in this instance separating the application for an A1 (Shop) and the application for A2, A3 and A4 (Financial Services, Restaurants and Cafes). They pose the risk of conflicting both with the recognised character of the street and with the need to address the serious road safety problems.
2. The proposals do nothing to protect the character of the area, including ‘Mill Road’s characteristic smaller independent traders’ (recognised in the Cambridge Local Plan as a key feature of the area), or to ‘safeguard the independent, cosmopolitan feel of the street’ (Policy 23).
3. The lack of a named occupier makes it impossible to judge the impact of each of the potential uses. However, the application for change of use to an A1 shop raises fears of a repeat bid for a supermarket-chain convenience store, with accompanying servicing problems and threat to Mill Road’s independent traders.
4. The application, if approved would involve the loss of the only leisure facility on Mill Road, contrary to Cambridge Local Plan Policy 6/1 (‘Protection of Leisure Facilities’) and subsequent NPPF policies.
5. The application, if approved, would result in the site being serviced by vehicles stopping on Mill Road several times a day, posing a significant obstruction and highway safety risk in a known accident blackspot, contrary to Cambridge Local Plan Policies 8/2 (‘Transport Impact’) and 8/9 (‘Commercial Vehicles and Servicing’).
6. Approval of the application, which makes no provision for car parking, would lead to increased pressure on limited car parking in the area and would be very likely to increase the incidence of dangerous and illegal parking on Mill Road. In this respect, the proposals are not compatible with Cambridge Local Plan Policy 8/2 (‘Transport Impact’).
7. In the event of the site being occupied by a convenience store, the application provides no information concerning noise impacts caused by externally venting refrigeration and air conditioning systems or from deliveries. For both of these reasons, the application is incompatible with Cambridge Local Plan 4/13 (‘Pollution and Amenity’).
8. The application makes no provision for waste and cage storage.
9. As with the previous two applications, another supermarket-chain convenience store would be a threat to the vitality and viability of the Mill Road centre, contrary to Cambridge Local Plan Policies 6/7 (‘Shopping Development and Change of Use in District and Local Centres’), including:
6.16: “Shopping policies […] seek to enhance the vitality and viability of the City Centre and support the role of the District and Local Centres[…]
6.17: “Applications for retail developments will, where appropriate, be subject to the demonstration […] that there will not be an adverse impact on existing centres, and that transport and environmental matters have been considered.”

These all relate to the A1 (shops) application. The non-specific occupiers, deliveries, car parking and vitality and viability arguments relate to both.

Mill Road Society



Sunday, July 6th, 2014

webposter3 copyAnother planning application for a change of use for Micky Flynn’s Pool and Snooker Hall has been submitted by the owners. This one is in two parts, a change of use from leisure to retail and for a change of use from leisure to more generalised uses (we are assuming this has been done if the first application is unsuccessful). Although this application has been made by the owners of Micky Flynn’s and Sainsbury’s or any other large multinational corporation is not mentioned I think it is safe to assume that a supermarket in one form or another will appear on Mill Road if we do not lodge our objections to this application. Below is a copy of a letter sent to local councillors for Romsey and Petersfield and we are currently drafting a offical planning objection template to be sent out any one who is interested in lodging a complaint about this application.

Dear local councillors

Those of us who have put in comments of objection to previous applications for very broad and unspecific change of use for this Pool and Snooker Club, have very recently received two notices of further planning applications.

As you will be aware, these current applications are once again seeking broad and unspecific change of use for this Pool and Snooker Club.

Such proposals do nothing to protect the character of the area, including ‘Mill Road’s characteristic smaller independent traders’ (recognised in the Cambridge Local Plan as a key feature of the area), or to ‘safeguard the independent, cosmopolitan feel of the street’ (Policy 23).

The Local Plan recognises that ‘Mill Road is an extremely busy, narrow road and there are conflicts between cars, buses and cyclists. In places, the pavements are narrow and cluttered with signs, lampposts and parked bicycles, making it difficult to move along them, particularly with a pram or wheelchair’. A broad, non-specific application of this kind poses the risk of conflicting both with the recognised character of the street and with the need to address the serious road safety problems – as the Planning Inspector recognised when they threw out the previous application of this kind last year.

Previous applications for change of use for this venue have already been strongly rejected, and Mill Road Society continues to be very concerned by these applications.

All evidence previously submitted, as well as the petitions we have gathered tell us that a change of use for this building is an issue which will greatly concern both traders and the wide community of Mill Road.

We will be submitting our objections and would draw your attention to the implications of these applications for all of Mill Road, as well as community objections to those implications.

Yours sincerely

Mill Road Society