23 August 2021
The South Cambridgeshire Investment Partnership (SCIP), a 50:50 partnership between South Cambridgeshire District Council and top 20 housebuilder, Hill Group, has launched an in-depth public consultation, inviting the local community to discuss plans for its maiden land acquisition in Cambourne Business Park.
The 19.2 acres of brownfield residential land on the southern edge of Cambourne Business Park, purchased by SCIP in May, has the potential to deliver a new neighbourhood comprising 275 high-quality environmentally friendly homes, 40% of which will be affordable housing. The proposed homes range in size from one bedroom apartments to five bedroom family homes, catering for the full spectrum of potential residents. Alongside the much needed new affordable housing, the plans include new green open spaces rich in biodiversity, a children’s play area, café and walking, cycling and public transport links, as well as an enhanced public square on land South of the Business Park.
The development will be entirely gas-free, with air source heat pumps fitted in every home, alongside highly water-efficient technology to reduce water consumption. 50% of the homes will have electric vehicle charging points, with the remaining 50% benefiting from the ductwork installed for easy future connection. Externally, the landscaping plans include new trees, hedges, wildflowers and a wetland, with the existing woodland site retained. The affordable properties will be targeting to achieve fully a net zero carbon standard.
The consultation has been designed to encourage neighbouring residents and the local community to engage directly with SCIP; working together to shape the development of the area, with a focus on creating a thriving, environmentally-friendly place where people will want to live and work.
Throughout the month the local community will be invited to attend a virtual webinar on Wednesday 14th July from 18.00-19.00 and a physical, socially distanced open-air event on Saturday 17th July from 10:00-14:00 at the Business Park. At both events neighbouring residents will be encouraged to discuss the outline masterplan and what they would like to see included in this new community. The Partnership is also currently liaising with Cambourne Village College and Hardwick & Cambourne Community Primary School, close neighbours of the site, ahead of developing more detailed plans.
As well as the events and additional information being distributed directly, SCIP is also launching a digital portal for ongoing feedback, which contains the plans, indicative house images, details of the Partnership and the extensive sustainability credentials of the proposed gas free development. The consultation is due to close on 6th August and once all of the feedback has been received and considered, SCIP intends to submit formal planning applications in the Autumn.
Trevor Nicoll, one of South Cambridgeshire District Council’s SCIP Board members, comments:
“We are delighted to launch this consultation on what is a landmark development for the Partnership. Our main ambition during this process is to listen and engage with local residents - to make sure we are delivering what the local community wants and needs. The proposed plans will provide so much more than new homes, we want to build a thriving new sustainable community, which prioritises biodiversity and environmental features, alongside a range of facilities for residents to enjoy.”
Rob Hall, one of Hill Group’s SCIP board members, added:
“This Partnership model also offers a host of additional benefits which we intend to deliver during the construction process. These will include prioritising local supply chains, employing local apprentices on site where we can, conserving water and waste and, of course, ensuring the design meets with our sustainability ambitions. We look forward to working with the neighbouring residents to further enhance this thriving community, while also investing in the local economy and providing long-term returns for the Council.”
This development site marks the first land acquisition for the innovative joint venture partnership. SCIP was formed in October 2020 and aims to bring forward carefully-planned and environmentally-friendly homes and communities in the right places, without drawing on any existing landbanks or Council assets. Over the next four years, the Council is actively looking to invest up to £170 million with its investment partners in the acquisition and development of land in South Cambridgeshire and the wider travel to work area, as determined by the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Independent Economic Review (CPIER).
Cambourne Business Park is located nine miles west of Cambridge, set in 55 acres of picturesque parkland with lakes, cycleways and footpaths.
To find out more about the public consultation, please visit: https://yoursay.online/cambourne where you can register for the events, view the plans and submit feedback. For more general information on the South Cambridgeshire Investment Partnership, visit: www.SC-IP.co.uk