Petersfield is an exciting, diverse and very densely populated residential area. It is subject to extreme pressure from commercial developments that surround it on all sides. There is little greenery or public open space and what there is needs better care and development.
Few facilities exist that can be used for leisure or community purposes, and those that are available tend to involve sterling costs that effectively exclude many disadvantaged members of the community. The lack of facilities has been exacerbated by the loss of the indoor sports facilities at the Howard Mallett Centre, the loss of Mill Road library and the loss of the Sturton Street Methodist Chapel.
We have a doctors’ surgery and pharmacy on York Street. The closest post offices are on Newmarket Road (about 200 yards after Elizabeth Way Roundabout), next to the Grafton Centre in Napier Street, and in Al-Amin on Mill Road.
The new supermarkets with have opened near Petersfield in the last few years provide a useful service to Petersfield residents. However, local traders will be faced with major competition. PACT is deeply concerned that traders in key shopping areas including Mill Road and Norfolk Street must work hard to survive and encourage the community to use their feet and shop locally. We support the Mill Road Trader’s Association and other Mill Road groups, but because of all the energy there, PACT’s trustees currently tend to focus on the Norfolk Street area and other areas of Petersfield.
In recent years Norfolk Street has undergone a facelift and is slowly becoming a lively shopping area, offering several excellent restaurants and cafe’s. PACT is proud to be responsible for the creation of the PACT Millennium Garden on Norfolk Street, offering the community another green area. PACT worked hard to secure this development and were delighted to obtain a grant in year 2000. We’re certain you won’t find such a beautiful garden in an ASDA’s car park!
Mill Road is the focus of the retail trade in Petersfield. Easily accessible from Norfolk Street via a short stroll across the cemetery, it offers a diverse range of shops. PACT is delighted that a lot of support for our annual Summer Event has come from traders here. Where else in Cambridge can you buy fresh pasta, a good book and visit a homeopath? Traders here are known for their proactive approach in the local community, working together as Mill Road Traders network alongside police to tackle crime and, more recently, on the re-development of the Bath House area.
Local shops on Norfolk Street and in Mill Road include some of Cambridge’s most unique and delightful stores. But they struggle to survive against the strain caused by large commercial developments, and appreciate all the support from local residents that we can give them.
Already such commercialisation is resulting in a steady impoverishment in the range and accessibility of facilities for less mobile residents, and it would a huge loss and tragedy if the mini Tesco and Sainsbury’s outlets drove all the family stores out of business.