News release from 17/01/2023
SCIP submits planning application for sustainable Cambourne development
The South Cambridgeshire Investment Partnership (SCIP) has submitted a planning application for 256 new low carbon homes in Cambourne – including more than 70 affordable, net zero homes.
SCIP is a (50:50) partnership between South Cambridgeshire District Council and The Hill Group. The planning application is for a new, sustainable residential development with community amenities and public open spaces within Cambourne Business Park in South Cambridgeshire.
The application site area extends to 9.64 ha in total and is within walking distance of the centre of Cambourne. The proposed scheme includes 256 new, low carbon, homes, ranging from five-bedroom houses to one-bedroom apartments, of which 40% (102 homes) would be affordable. 70% of the affordable homes would be earmarked for affordable rent, with the remaining 30% of them being available for shared ownership. 72 affordable homes at the development will achieve net zero carbon through a fabric first approach, with Passivhaus levels of performance. This will be accomplished through high levels of insulation, airtight construction, air source heat pumps for heating and hot water, photovoltaic panels, and energy efficient building services and controls.
The whole development will be entirely gas-free, and each home is designed to help reduce water usage to not exceed 99 litres per person per day, lower than the 110 litres standard required by national building regulations.
The design includes a proposed change of use of the existing vacant marketing suite in the Business Park to a new community café, to provide a local hub for the new community. The community-centric design also incorporates playground amenities and a wealth of green open spaces, prioritising and preserving biodiversity through Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems, informal woodlands, greens, and watercourses.
A strategy would be secured that aims to deliver 20% biodiversity net gain – which is double the 10% required by national planning legislation. The landscaping within the development would enhance wildlife, with new trees, hedges, wildflowers, a pond, and swales – along with the preservation of the existing woodland, while off-site biodiversity improvements would also be funded.
Also included in the plans are new pedestrian, bus and cycle lanes connecting the new community to the developing Cambourne West site nearby. The plans incorporate electric vehicle charging points or provision for them at every property, and space to store over 800 bicycles.
Tom Hill, a SCIP Board member and Regional Director at the Hill Group, comments: “As a partnership, we are committed to listening to the local community and being mindful of the environmental impact that can come from development. It was imperative for us to ensure the design of this development embodies these values. As such, we look forward to delivering high quality, energy-efficient homes to higher sustainability standards alongside a range of open spaces; each with their own character and purpose, helping to establish a strong community.”
South Cambridgeshire District Councillor Richard Stobart, a SCIP Board member, comments: “Ensuring that this development will be as conscious of the environment as possible has always been a key priority for us at the Council. We are aiming for a very high standard when it comes to the site’s green credentials, and this is evident through the plans we’ve submitted. Making new homes as energy efficient as possible has never been more important, with rising fuel bills and the cost of living crisis impacting residents across the country. By working together as a partnership and bringing our varied skill sets together, we hope to deliver a flourishing new community, which encourages residents to live more sustainably.”
A public consultation into the plans has now been started by South Cambridgeshire District Council as the local planning authority. It runs until Friday 24 February. Residents are encouraged to comment on the planning application that SCIP has submitted. This can be done by visiting the Greater Cambridge Shared Planning website and searching for the planning reference 23/00123/FUL. Once the Council’s public consultation has ended, the application will go on to be determined by its Planning Committee.