An overview of Cambourne

Cambourne is one of our newest settlements located 9 miles west of Cambridge, just off the A428.
The thriving community has:

  • four primary schools
  • a secondary school
  • shops
  • a range of sporting facilities, and
  • large expanses of public open spaces.

New homes are presently being built at Upper Cambourne and further homes have been approved to the west of Lower Cambourne.

The planning history of Cambourne

Two outline planning applications for new settlements at Monkfield Farm (S/1371/92/O) and Great Common Farm/Bourn Airfield (S1635/92/O) were submitted in 1992.

The original consent had provision for 3,000 homes, with a contingency of an additional 10% (3,300), of which 30% were affordable housing. It also included land for employment, retail, community and sporting facilities, open space and highways on land in the parishes of Bourn and Caxton.

Cambourne master plans

The original masterplan for Cambourne, approved in 1996, set out a vision of 3 interlinked villages - each planned around village greens and connected by a central spine road running East to West.

Lower Cambourne is the westernmost village and is adjacent to Great Cambourne, which is the largest of the three villages.

Upper Cambourne lies between the eastern valley and the Broadway, the road which leads south from the old A428 to the village of Bourn.

The original masterplan envisaged development at densities ranging from 24.9 dwellings per hectare (dph) in Great and Upper Cambourne to 23.2 dph in Lower Cambourne.

As detailed planning applications (reserved matters) were submitted, densities were increased in line with the subsequently issued changes to national Planning Policy Guidance 3 (2000). This resulted in overall net densities increasing to approximately 30 dph and meant that the permitted 3,300 homes were built at Lower Cambourne, most of Great Cambourne and only on the north-western part of the Upper Cambourne footprint.

Development Begins

Work started on the site in 1998 with the first residents moving in 1999.

Cambourne became a separate parish in 2004. At the time of the 2011 census there were 8,186 residents, making it the largest settlement in South Cambridgeshire.

In addition to housing there are:

  • four primary schools
  • a supermarket
  • 16 smaller retail units
  • a hotel
  • police and fire stations
  • a church
  • a health centre and library
  • community centre
  • sports centre and pitches
  • youth centre
  • play areas
  • allotments
  • a country-park, and
  • a business park

Further shops and a hotel are due to be delivered on the remaining sites in the centre

Further development of Cambourne

In 2007 an outline application for a further 950 homes, within the boundaries of the original application, for Upper Cambourne was submitted.

This application was approved in 2011 with 30% affordable housing and financial contributions towards services and facilities within Cambourne.

Of the 950 homes approved at Upper Cambourne, detailed applications for all of these homes have now been approved and almost 700 have been built and occupied.

There are remaining plots to be built out on the business park. The eastern valley has been identified as a site for a golf course once the land is no longer being used for spoil distribution. However, should this not be deliverable then the land would revert to being a country park.

In 2013 Cambourne Secondary School opened to the west of the Lower Cambourne perimeter treebelt on land within the parish of Caxton. This was followed by the opening of Cambourne Community Primary School next to the secondary school in 2015.

How can I view the Cambourne planning application?

You can view the plans is by visiting our planning portal.

If you do not have internet access, you can also view the plans at our office between 9am and 5pm on weekdays.

Please also look out on Parish notice boards for details of how the Parish Council will make the plans available for viewing.

Cambourne West

In March 2014 our Local Plan was submitted and is presently subject to independent examination. Policy SS/8 of the submission local plan proposes the allocation of a site of 49.3ha to the west of Cambourne (Cambourne West) for up to 1,200 homes.

The draft allocation also includes undeveloped land within Cambourne Business Park to accommodate a mix of residential and employment uses.

Read more about Cambourne West.

Related Information

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