Cambridge to build £1 billion sustainable community
University set to develop 3,000 homes to Code level 5
The University of Cambridge has won outline approval from planners to create a £1 billion exemplar sustainable community to the north west of the city. Its 3,000 homes will be designed to level 5 of the Code for Sustainable Homes, while its non-residential buildings will target a BREEAM Excellent rating.
The 150 ha North West Cambridge site, which was released from the green belt to meet the university’s needs for housing, student accommodation and employment, will provide:
- 1,500 homes for university and college employees
- 1,500 homes for sale
- accommodation for 2,000 students
- 100,000m2 of research facilities, including up to 40,000m2 for research institutes and private research facilities linked to the university
- amenities including a community centre, primary school, nursery, doctor’s surgery, senior care home, supermarket and shops, hotel and police office
- public open space for sports, informal recreation and ecological use on around a third of the site.
The university has created a water management system for the site to help ensure that development does not add to flood risk.
First development phase
Phase one of the development will be subject to approval from the University’s Regent House, which will be sought early next year. This first phase will comprise around 530 homes for university staff, some 426 homes for sale, accommodation for 300 students and the local centre. Last month the university named the preferred designers for this phase, which are: Wilkinson Eyre Architects and Mole Architects; David Chipperfield Architects; Mecanoo; Cottrell & Vermeulen Architecture, Sarah Wigglesworth Architects and AOC; RH Partnership; MUMA; AECOM; and Townshend Landscape Architects.
The university is now seeking residential and commercial development partners for the phase one elements. It hopes work will start early next year, with completion set for mid-2015.
University vice-chancellor Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz said of the scheme. “It will provide much of the residential and research accommodation that the university needs as it grows over the next 20 years.”