News release from 11/03/2022

More homes for local people as Council surpasses housing target

More homes for local people as Council surpasses housing target

Another 15 brand new energy efficient apartments have been handed over to South Cambridgeshire District Council – further increasing the number of homes that are genuinely affordable for local people to live in.

The Council’s development partner, Hill, has handed over the keys to the modern apartments in Sawston. They are the second tranche of apartments at the Babraham Road site to be completed, with 11 having been finished and made available for Council tenants at the end of last year.

Cllr John Batchelor and Cllr Brian Milnes at new Council apartments in Sawston

When the development is complete, there will be 63 affordable homes on the site – largely affordable-rent apartments and houses, and some shared ownership properties. Affordable rent is capped at being no more than 80% of the local market rent - including service charges where applicable. All the properties in Sawston will be marketed to people with a local connection to the village in the first instance, before being opened-up to those from across the district.

The apartments have private balconies, as well as shared gardens and good connections to wider development features like playgrounds. There are solar panels on the development, air source heat pumps, green roofs and electric vehicle charging points for residents to use. The homes also benefit from Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery. This system, which can only be used in the apartments because they are so energy efficient, extracts stale air from the home and brings in fresh, filtered air. It retains heat that is normally lost through open widows, vents, and extractor fans.

A green roof at the new Council apartments in Sawston

South Cambridgeshire District Council’s Lead Cabinet Member for Housing, Cllr John Batchelor, said: “These new apartments in Sawston are modern, energy efficient and comfortable. They are a million miles away from the historic and outdated images and perceptions of Council or social housing. Importantly, they contain the latest energy saving features to help our tenants not only minimise their carbon footprint, but also save money on bills too. We have worked extremely hard to exceed our Business Plan target of doubling the number of new council homes being built ahead of schedule, delivering 89 new homes in 2021-2022 alone. This shows we are committed to providing housing that is truly affordable for everyone to live in.”

Greg Hill, Deputy Chief Executive for The Hill Group said: “It gives us great pleasure to be
handing over a further 15 homes to South Cambridgeshire District Council. We are committed
to creating highly sustainable homes, which will reduce carbon emissions and alleviate fuel
poverty. We also never compromise on the standard or quality of any home we build and I’m
sure the new residents will be delighted moving into their new homes.”

In 2019, it was agreed in the Council’s Business Plan that the number of new Council homes being built would be doubled by 2024. During 2021/22, 89 new Council homes were built. This compares to 36 being built in 2019/20 and 64 being built in 2020/21. As a result, this Business Plan target has been achieved. During recent years, new homes have been built in Balsham, Caldecote, Castle Camps, Comberton / Toft (boundary), Foxton, Great Abington, Hardwick, Impington, Longstanton, Melbourn, Sawston, Teversham, Waterbeach and West Wickham. During the coming years, there are plans for more Council homes in many more villages across South Cambridgeshire.

Cllr John Batchelor and Cllr Brian Milnes at new Council apartments in Sawston

One of the District Councillors for Sawston, Cllr Brian Milnes, who is also Lead Cabinet Member for Environmental Services and Licensing, said: “Sawston is seeing significant additional housing development, which is meeting the high demand for accommodation, especially from the thriving BioScience sector. These new properties are a welcome addition to Council housing and mean that more local people will be able to continue to work and live affordably.”

Anyone interested in the new Council apartments in Sawston should visit www.home-link.org.uk for affordable rent properties. Those interested in the shared ownership properties should visit www.williamhbrown.co.uk and search for shared ownership properties in Sawston.