St John’s hope the development will help new staff while they “find their feet in the Cambridge property market”LUCAS MADDALENA

Plans for new St John’s accommodation have finally been approved following a meeting of Cambridge City Council’s planning committee on Wednesday (02/02).

The development will consist of 245 rooms spread across 39 townhouses on the Grange Lane development, located south of Wilberforce Road. The accommodation will be occupied by both students and academic staff.

Councillors had voted to defer a decision on the application in January after concerns were raised regarding the division of the rooms between students and staff, as well as how the accommodation would be used outside of term time.

At the meeting on Wednesday, it was announced that the College had agreed to cap the number of rooms available for academic staff and their families to a maximum of 32, leaving at least 213 rooms available for students.


Mountain View

Decision over St John’s accommodation plans delayed

A St John’s representative also told the meeting that postgraduate rent agreements last at least 11 months, while the minimum for undergraduates is 38 weeks. They said that any renting to users other than students and staff (such as conference guests) would only happen during the summer vacation periods.

It is hoped that the development will help to meet the rising demand for accommodation among students and staff, with Clare Hall and Lucy Cavendish also expressing interest in occupying parts of the site.

In the application to Cambridge City Council, St John’s justified the expansion by detailing the “increasing difficulties” faced by fellows looking to buy a house in Cambridge, saying that many initially ask to live in college accommodation “for a few years [...] while they find their feet in the Cambridge property market.”

The plans were approved following the planning committee’s unanimous decision.