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Details of MRI Clinic
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Planning Conditions

What is this about?

The site of the former Tesco Express (163-167 Mill Road) is being developed into a private MRI clinic. The developers do not need planning permission for a 'change of use' for this site however they have submitted a planning application for an electrical substation, and cooling plant for the MRI.

The cooling plant alone will be producing a high level of noise 24 hours-a-day. Specifically it will be producing about 95 decibels during the day and 90 decibels at night.[1]

Any noise exceeding 70 decibels is considered disturbing, 85+ decibels can lead to hearing loss, 90 decibels is a high noise level, equivalent to the noise generated by a power tool, an Underground train, or the sound level of a concert.

Considering this is a very dense residential area, this private clinic will be impacting our neighbourhood negatively by increasing the noise level significantly; increasing the traffic and parking; and not fitting in to the character of the Mill Road conservation area.

This website is an effort to coordinate a campaign to preserve this area as a lovely place to live.

For this campaign to be effective we need as many voices as possible, we need your help!


At January's planning meeting, the councillors voted to defer the case. Dave Baigent recused himself from voting in order to speak against it, which was good of him. He spoke passionately about Mill Road and community, but sadly that seemed to get a bit lost in the subsequent discussion.

Most of the discussion focussed around noise. We tried to highlight the considerable shortcomings in the Noise Impact Assessment's background noise analysis, and I think we managed to get some of that across, as it then came up again and again. In the end, four of the six voting councillors decided that they didn't have enough information on noise impact to proceed with approval, so it got kicked back to a future meeting. The agenda for February's meeting has just been published, and this case is not on it, so it may be March's (6/3), or it may be later than that. We'll know more by early March.

Vast thanks to Matt (for speaking) and Elvina and Anne (for attending), plus anyone else who was there for us, and I didn't recognise (I'm sorry - say hello if you come to the next one!). I guess all we can do is keep up the pressure, and hope that the flaws in the application are enough to torpedo it in the end.

Thank you to everyone for talking about this issue, alerting neighbours, and generally keeping it on the front burner. The level and unanimity of opposition to this ill-thought-out project is really heartening and is what may make the difference in the end.

Comments (from people who have emailed us about this issue)

Having grown up in a street off Mill Road I know the wonderful sense of community this area has always enjoyed. Let's not lose it!

I object to the proposed MRI clinic at the former Tesco Express site

No mill road MRI. It is a residential area. It will be noisy 24/7. It will create more traffic !! No No No had enough of off shore parties doing what they like, where they like…..where WE live. No.

Thanks I live opp Addenbrookes, why on earth put this monster on Mill road when everything else is on the biomed campus -where theres room for it and the traffic footprint will be huge! Hate what's happening to Mill rd

This should be in an area away from homes and small businesses who could be disrupted by noise and traffic.

Would welcome there being a facility like this in Cambridge, but location must be appropriate. They ARE noisy...

I strongly oppose developing an MRI Scanner in the Old Tesco Site on Mill Rd.

It is inappropriate that this be built and run in a residential area and will set a precedent for other such sites on Mill Rd.

I object to the proposal to install an MRI clinic on Mill Road. Although I don't live nearby I often use Mill Road, and I consider it to be a wholly unsuitable proposal, mainly because of the noise but also because it would conflict with the character of the street.

Traffic is already far too heavy on the road, which is why 72% of residents are supporting bridge restrictions to encourage walking and limit through traffic.

I object to the MRI facility due to potential noise, lack of parking, not adding to or enhancing cultural feel or diversity of Mill Road.

I am strongly against!

I wish to object against the planning permission for a proposed private MRI clinic in the densely populated Mill Road residential area in Cambridge

NO to the building of the above mri Clinic on Mill Road

I do not agree with an MRI business in Mill Rd

I lived just off The Broadway between 1953 and 1969 - when I left to get married - then briefly lived at the bottom end of Mill Road! I've seen lots of changes, but Mill Road has always had a special place in my heart.

I really think it would be a bad idea to allow anyone to put an MRI in Mill Road. It will be noisy and total out of character for the area.

I object to the proposed MRI clinic at the former Tesco Express site on Mill Road Cambridge.

I hope it's successful and well done for noticing this and taking action.

I object to MRI on Mill Road because of noise of machinery because of traffic and because it's alien to the character of Mill Road.

I don’t live near Mill rd but I love what it is and offers.

I strongly object to the proposed MRI facility in Mill Road. It makes no sense as a location for clients and staff and would add to the already serious noise, traffic and pollution problems.

I would like to object to the private MRI clinic on Mill Road - it is not in character with a conservation area, it will be noisy, and will add traffic to the already congested streets around Mill Road

I am vehemently opposed to this development. It is outrageous that a development such as this should be permitted to go ahead in a) a conservation area, that b) is already densely developed, c) has a such strong identity, and d) already has traffic and parking problems.

This area has already become overly noise polluted and the escalating noise pollution has serious effects on physical and mental health, as demonstrated in numerous studies.

This development sets a precedent for changing the character of this part of the city. It shows a woeful lack of consideration to heritage and conservation.

The installation of a private clinic will only further add to the discrepancy of wealth, aggravate an already over noise polluted area, put pressure on an already over burdened road and further signal a lack of care to residents.

We object strongly to the development of a proposed private MRI clinic at the former Tesco’s site on Mill Road. The project is objectionable on many grounds which include the following: It will cause unacceptable and constant levels of noise; It is inconsistent with the character of a residential neighbourhood; It is incompatible with the town plan for the Mill Road conservation area.

No clinic! lets have something useful to residents!

I live about 30 seconds walk from the former Tesco Express site and I strongly object to the proposed MRI clinic at this location. It will be loud, obnoxious, and not remotely useful to any of the locals. This belongs on an industrial estate.

I am against this private clinic taking the space, we should have something that could be useful to residents, not just those that can afford private healthcare!

This is in a residential area. This building could be used to create an amazing community space. I say NO to the building of a private clinic on Mill Road.

The level of noise this will generate is completely inappropriate for a residential area.

current state of building works in the back of the proposed MRI clinic (former Tesco Express site)

[1] The noise from the cooling plant is listed on Page 6 of the Noise Impact Assessment submitted in the planning application
which lists 6 plant items rated for 75-86dB running during the day (which is about 95dB)
to 3 items 78-86dB running at night (which is about 90dB).

This website was made by Caroline and Tom Yates, contact us at campaign @ NoMillRoadMRI.uk (remove the spaces)
If you are wondering what the image is at the top of the page, it is a magnetic field.