News release from 30/09/2019

£141 million worth of community facilities for new town agreed

£141 million worth of community facilities for new town agreed

A legal agreement has been reached, confirming £141 million worth of new services, facilities and transport upgrades will come forward as part of the first 6,500 homes at a new town north of Waterbeach is built.

Back in May, South Cambridgeshire District Council’s Planning Committee gave the green light to Urban&Civic’s outline plans to develop the former Waterbeach barracks site. This is the western half of the site that is allocated for a new town in the authority’s Local Plan.

The developer’s funding towards community services and facilities – known as a Section 106 agreement – has now been finalised. It will see many upgrades and community facilities come forward at different stages of the development, including:

  • At least 30% affordable housing
  • Three primary schools, a secondary school and a special educational needs school
  • A health centre
  • Open spaces with outdoor pitches – to include sports areas, children’s play space and allotments / community orchards and three sports pavilions
  • A contribution towards a new leisure centre, including a swimming pool
  • Three community centres and a community hub with library
  • A Community Development Support Worker and jobs brokerage scheme to help people to work close to where they live

The agreement on affordable housing will see a minimum of 30% built, with a viability assessment to be carried out to see whether this can rise to 40%.

A total of almost £16 million worth of transport upgrades in and around the village of Waterbeach have been agreed as part of the Section 106 process. Amongst these are:

  • Improvements to the A10, including at the junction of Humphries Way and Landbeach Road, widening works around Butt Lane and widening of the A10 towards Ely at the Stretham roundabout
  • New pedestrian and cycle routes
  • Improvements to the existing A10 shared cycleway and footpath
  • A bridge across the A10 for pedestrians and cycles near the junction of Denny End Road to link to a new cycle route along Mere Way connecting with Cambridge
  • Traffic management measures in Waterbeach, Landbeach, Cottenham, Horningsea and Milton
  • Cycling improvements through Milton
  • Improvements to local bus services and stops

South Cambridgeshire District Council’s Lead Cabinet Member for Planning, Cllr Dr. Tumi Hawkins, said: “Waterbeach will be one of the Councils key housing sites for the next 25 years and I’m pleased that through its development we’ve managed to secure a raft of facilities and services that not only residents of the new town will benefit from – but also  those people already living nearby.  These will now come forward at various stages as the new town is built out, so facilities are delivered hand-in-hand with new homes. We’re fully aware of the need to address the daily congestion on the A10 and this decision provides for transport upgrades to help traffic flow better. Alongside this, we’ll continue working with the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority to establish the long-term solution for all traffic using the A10.

"We have a rare and unique opportunity with this new town to create a community that is not focussed around the car and where energy efficient homes and businesses and a healthy and environmentally rich landscape will allow people to thrive in the heart of South Cambridgeshire."

Tim Leathes, Development Director for Urban&Civic, who are managing the development on behalf of the Ministry of Defence, said: “Now we can really get started, many thanks to members and officers in South Cambridgeshire District and Cambridgeshire County councils.  We understand what is expected of us.  Waterbeach is the best brownfield site in the country and we shall be going about transformation in the Urban&Civic way: based on continued community involvement and the routing of construction traffic away from new and existing housing.  The Royal Engineers have left us a legacy of thousands of trees and a unique 20 acre lake.  The fundamental foundations of the site and our robust plans provide an opportunity to push the boundaries of sustainable living for the 21st Century.

"The next stage of planning and design will see us turn those commitments into tangible and exemplar delivery, which will start this year with a tree planting programme which will see thousands more planted over the 20 years of development.  Early actions will also include a purpose built cycle connection to the Science Park, reinstating the historic Causeway up to Denny Abbey and providing permanent accommodation for the Waterbeach Toddler Playgroup.  We are aiming for the first new homes to be occupied by Christmas 2021."

James Ryley, DIO Project Manager, said: “This is a significant milestone. We are pleased that this project has moved another step forward. We are looking forward to working with our partners on creating this housing development as well as providing accompanying facilities for the community to use and enjoy.”

Back in February, a Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) including a vision to create a thriving new town north of Waterbeach was adopted by South Cambridgeshire District Council. This sets out the authority’s aspirations for the new town on and around the former barracks site.

Further detailed planning applications that set out the more precise arrangements for the site, called reserved matters applications, include the appearance, landscaping, layout and scale will be submitted to South Cambridgeshire District Council by Urban&Civic in future.

A separate application for up to 4,500 new homes on the eastern half of the planned new town site has been submitted by different developers, RLW Estates. Their application, which covers land between the former barracks and railway line, is being assessed by the Council.