Previous Consultation

We held our first consultation on the future of the three sites at Sidney Street and Hobson Street in April and May this year. It sought the views of the local community and stakeholders on:


  • The challenges faced by the city centre (pre and post-pandemic);

  • What a vibrant post pandemic city centre would look like;

  • The main aspects of the three sites in their current form;

  • The priorities for any future redevelopment of the sites;

  • The benefits which could be delivered by future redevelopment of the sites; and

  • Any concerns they had about the possible future redevelopment of the sites.

Market Street, Cambridge


289 people completed the online survey on the consultation website and six people provided direct written responses. The respondents comprised a good mix of ages and most were from Cambridge and the surrounding area.


The responses demonstrated a high level of engagement and covered a wide range of topics. A number of key topics and some clear themes emerged. Our analysis of the responses shows:


  • That respondents felt the main challenges facing the city centre prior to the pandemic were its limited evening economy, the struggling retail sector and the quality of its public realm.

  • That post-pandemic the rise of online retail and home delivery and new working patterns were likely to become the most significant challenges for the city centre.

  • That respondents felt a vibrant post pandemic city centre would have more independent retail and food and drink provision, and both a strong day time and strong evening economy.

  • That respondents felt that:

    • the sites’ Sidney Street frontages have a positive or neutral impact on the city centre.

    • the sites’ Hobson Street frontages and Hobson’s Passage have a negative impact on the city centre.

  • That respondents felt that the most important considerations for any future redevelopment proposals were design, provision of leisure/community space and development which contributes to the city centre economy.

  • Respondents felt that the positives from any future redevelopment could involve improvement of the area, provision of community/leisure space and retention of the historic aspects of the existing built form.

  • Respondents main concerns about any future redevelopment were the kinds of new uses which might be introduced, a lack of public benefit arising, poor design and loss of historic buildings,


The areas of keenest interest throughout the responses were provision of community/leisure space, design, improvement of the area and the possible future uses for the sites.

Statement of Community Involvement

The consultation has been written up in a Statement of Community Involvement which can be viewed. The statement provides a full analysis of the comments received along with the project team’s responses to them where relevant.

Statement of Community Involvement

What Next?

Check out the options our project team has produced for the three sites. You can explore these through the options appraisal page.