Committed to low carbon housing with planning application for further pilot Passivhaus council homes

As part of our commitment to achieve high quality, low carbon housing across Cambridge, we have submitted planning for three pilot ‘Passivhaus’ council homes at its Borrowdale development.

 

Passivhaus is the leading low energy, high comfort standard for buildings, demonstrated as the foremost method of reducing energy use and carbon emissions from buildings in the UK. We will be delivering the first council homes in the city to attain the internationally renowned Passivhaus standard.

 

The Borrowdale development follows on from planning being successfully granted at 71-73 Fen Road, where 12 new low carbon council homes will be built for local families. Both these schemes form part of a pilot project, enabling us to learn about Passivhaus on smaller developments before scaling up its low carbon housing.

 

Cllr Mike Todd Jones, Executive Councillor for Housing at Cambridge City Council and CIP board member comments,

“We are committed to providing the highest environmental standards in the new homes we build and are proud that all our future developments will be gas free. These proposed pilot Passivhaus council homes are another step towards achieving these standards, providing residents with very low energy use and heating costs as well as addressing the housing shortage in Cambridge.”

 

The scheme at Borrowdale has been designed by experienced architects Pollard Thomas Edwards and will provide three, two bedroom terraced Passivhaus council homes with back garden, cycle storage and parking. Seven parking spaces will be retained across the street to the south of the site. Trees at the site will also be retained wherever possible.

 

Tom Hill, Regional Director of Hill said,

“These homes will be built with meticulous attention to detail and have many benefits for residents, including heating demand of up to 90% lower compared to existing buildings and 50% lower compared to new homes built to Building Regulations. The high quality construction and air tightness will also prevent draughts, cold spots, moulds and condensation, making them a much heathier home.”

 

The site currently comprises existing garages and car parking, bounded by neighbouring flat blocks and bark gardens. The site is a 10 minute cycle from Cambridge City Centre. CIP has also worked with Carter Jonas and Allen Pyke Associates to bring forward the scheme.

 


CIP artists take part in Open Cambridge

A number of artists who are working on our developments will be taking part in this year’s Open Cambridge which runs from 10th to 19th September.

 

This year’s programme highlights the City’s culinary heritage and cultures under the Heritage Open Day’s 2021 theme ‘Edible England’ and is a real treat for anyone interested in learning more about the city through a series of free walks, talks, tours and online events.

 

The Meadows artist Lilah Fowler and artist and poet Alex Finlay will take part in Living Landmasses online talk on 10th September at 6pm which takes a microscopic view of what is feeding all the plants around us. The talk explores how the subterranean world is inspiring the artwork being developed by Lilah for the new community centre at The Meadows. Alec is currently working on ‘The Sun Spoke,’ a series of commissions for our new developments.

 

On 11th September Colville Road artist, Janetka Platun will be hosting a short tour and talk around Colville Road with local historian Michelle Bullivant discovering Cherry Hinton’s history and the inspiration behind the artwork which is being created for the development.

 

Led by Campkin Road artist Hermione Spriggs and local forager/historian Cab Davidson, Hedge Hoardings is a walk around Kings Hedges following the ward’s ancient hedgerows, discovering plants and foraging. Taking place on 12th September between 2pm and 4pm this event explores hedges as edible places that offer a bounty of wild food to humans and other animals.

 

On 14th September between 7pm and 8.30pm Cromwell Road artist in residence Emma Smith hosts an online talk, Vegetal Hospitality, which explores the city as an expanded allotment taking inspiration from the history of allotments in Petersfield and Romsey. The talk is part of Emma’ Phuplec project, an artwork that celebrates the small, the wild, the overripe, the rotten, the undesired and the redundant as necessary tactics for a sustainable future.

Open Cambridge, run by the University of Cambridge Public Engagement team and supported by the Cambridge BID, has extended its usual three-day run to 10 days of tours, walks, films, talks and a host of activities that bring together local people and visitors to celebrate the unique heritage, culture and community of Cambridge.

The event is part of the national Heritage Open Days scheme, which is designed to offer special access to places that are normally closed to the public or charge admission.

 


Residents begin moving into Timberworks, Cromwell Road

The first residents have started to move into Timberworks, Cromwell Road, our largest project to date which will eventually deliver 295 new homes, of which 118 will be brand new council rented homes. The former Ridgeons site will also include a nursery, landscaped central park and open spaces, play equipment, public art, parking for cars and bicycle parking including a basement car park and electric vehicle charging spaces for every house and 10% of the communal area.

 

Tom Hill, Regional Director of Hill comments,

“We are extremely proud of the progress we have made on site and it’s been wonderful to see the first residents moving into the private sale homes at Timberworks. We are also looking forward to handing over the first brand new council homes later in the year.”

 

Demand has been high for the new homes with already 50% of the one and two bedroom apartments at Mulberry Tree Building sold. Prices start from £318,950.

 

All of the council rented homes at Cromwell Road will be wheelchair accessible, with six of the units specially adapted for wheelchair users. Three of the homes will also be designated as ‘Housing First’ homes for people who had previously been vulnerably housed or homeless.

 

The new homes will be built in line with the Cambridge Sustainable Housing Design Guide which exceeds national policy guidelines and will incorporate a number of sustainable features including green roofs on apartment blocks, photovoltaic panels on roofs of houses and apartments, sustainable urban drainage system incorporated into the landscape and denser insulation and wall thickness to minimise heat loss and reduce energy bills.


Planning granted for the first pilot Passivhaus council homes in Cambridge

We are thrilled to have been granted planning to deliver the first pilot ‘Passivhaus’ council homes project in Cambridge.

 

The development at 71-73 Fen Road, East Chesterton will provide 12 low carbon new council homes for local families, comprising 8, two bedroom homes; 2, three bedroom homes; 1 three bedroom wheelchair adapted house and 1 four bedroom wheelchair adapted house.

 

Cllr Mike Todd-Jones, Executive Councillor for Housing at Cambridge City Council and CIP board member said,

“We are delighted to achieve planning to pilot the first ‘Passivhaus’ council homes in Cambridge which will bring much needed new family council rented homes for those on our housing register, including specialist adapted family housing

 

“These homes will be delivered to a very high standards of environmental sustainability in and will also contribute towards our goal to be a zero net carbon council in the coming years.”

 

We have worked with experienced architect Pollard Thomas Edwards, The Environment Partnership and Carter Jonas to bring forward the scheme. The pilot ‘Passivhaus’ council homes will have very low energy use and heating costs and will be built using off-site timber frame systems, with thick highly insulated walls and gas free heating.

 

Tom Hill, Regional Director for Hill comments,

“This is a significant milestone for our Partnership as we bring forward the first pilot ‘Passivhaus’ council homes in Cambridge. The aim of this pilot scheme is to allow us to explore the delivery of cost efficient low carbon housing for the future in terms of up-front building costs, ongoing maintenance costs for as the Council and low bills for residents.”

 

The site at 71-73 Fen Road, East Chesterton, is currently not in use but accommodates two existing single storey buildings, which are in a poor state of repair and were previously used as an assisted living facility.

 

As part of the development, we will create a new, safe and green access for walking and cycling to the Five Trees open space, which will be preserved in its entirety, helping the local community to enjoy this space.

 

There will also be parking spaces with electric vehicle charging points and generous provision for new cycle parking. This well positioned site will provide easy access to the city centre and other amenities for local residents.

 

Passivhaus buildings achieve a 75% reduction in space heating requirements compared to the standard practice for UK new build homes. The Passivhaus standard therefore gives a robust method to help the industry achieve the 80% carbon reductions that are set as a legislative target for the UK Government.


School children step back in time at Archaeological dig

Children from Orchard Park Community Primary School and St Laurence Catholic Primary School were given the chance to see for themselves first-hand a live archaeological dig at our The Meadows and Buchan Street site.

 

The dig took place over a few weeks as part of the initial works to refurbish the existing sub-standard pitch into a Sport England approved football pitch at St Albans Rec.

 

The children got to spend time with archaeologist Izzie learning about the dig and why it takes place, what you can potentially discover and what it tells about the way people lived as well as what you need to do at school to become an archaeologist. They also got to see for themselves artefacts that have been found at various different sites over the years.

 

Rebecca Muscara, teacher at Orchard Park Community Primary School said,

“Thank you so much for hosting us! We had a brilliant time and the children were so engaged. My Year 4 students were talking about their adventures all the way back home and for the rest of the afternoon!”

 

Izzie Ward from Cotswold Archaeology said,

"Engaging local children in archaeology improves their understanding of their area's past, bringing what they learn in school to life before their very eyes! We've found this helps to create a sense of belonging for both new and old residents, breaking down barriers between generations as children learn more about everyone's place in their mutual history."

 

Following the completion of the archaeological work, we have reopened part of the football area, following feedback from local residents, to allow for more of the open space to be used by the local community in the summer holidays and putting up temporary goalposts. Work will then take place in early September to deliver the upgraded football pitch from Summer 2022.


Official ground-breaking ceremony takes place at The Meadows and Buchan Street sites

An official ground-breaking ceremony has taken place to mark the start of construction work at The Meadow and Buchan Street sites.

 

The developments are replacing two existing community facilities with a modern, highly sustainable community hub, along with 106 brand new council rented apartments, new open space, a public plaza and retention of a café and shop space.

 

Cllr Mike Todd-Jones, Executive Councillor for Housing and CIP board member said,

“I am delighted to be able to official mark the start of construction work at The Meadows and Buchan Street sites. This development will be providing over 100 much needed brand new council apartments which will accommodate local people who are currently on the housing register as well as providing some great community facilities for those living close by.”

 

At the Meadows site we will be providing 78 new one and two bedroom apartments for council rent and the Buchan Street site will see 28 one and two bedroom council rented flats built. Four of the flats at The Meadows and one at Buchan Street will be for wheelchair users.

 

Tom Hill, Regional Director for Hill comments,

“This is a really exciting project for us. As well as delivering brand new council homes we are building a highly sustainable community hub for local residents which has been designed to BREEAM Excellent, meaning it will be in the top 10% of non-domestic buildings in the UK in terms of energy efficiency and sustainability.”

 

The new developments will offer high levels of sustainability with electric charging points for cars, 230 cycle spaces across both sites, underground recycling bins and green roofs, with solar photovoltaic panels and gas free heating as the main energy sources. The Cambridge Local Plan targets 19% carbon reduction on 2013 Building Regulations and both sites will achieve around 60% in carbon reduction, significantly exceeding local plan requirements.

 

A net total of 109 new trees will also be planted, and as well as retaining the zip wire and trim trail, a MUGA (multi-use games area), an improved free-draining Sport England approved football pitch, new play areas and a skate area will be provided at the recreation ground, replacing the current provision.

 

As part of the approved plans 93.6% of the open space will be retained, as opposed to 85% proposed under the first consultation and 92% in the second. Enhanced meadows and woodland areas will also mean an overall improvement of 60% in biodiversity for the open space.


Creating an art gallery

Come along and be part of an exciting project to create an art gallery for our hoarding at The Meadows.

 

Residents of all ages are welcome to attend the fun and free event at The Meadows Community Centre on Tuesday 10th August from 10am to 12pm where you can draw your own creation on the theme ‘Meadows.’

 

The drawings will be used to create an eye catching art gallery on our hoarding which will be enjoyed and admired by local residents. All drawing materials will be provided and there will also be free refreshments.

 


Local school children challenge Cambridge United players to Keepy Uppies at St Albans Rec

With Euro 2020 fever sweeping the nation, there is no disputing that football is the most popular sport to watch and spectate in the UK and also the most popular team sport to participate in.

 

To mark the start of initial works to refurbish the existing sub-standard pitch into a really exciting Sport England approved football pitch at St Albans Rec, Cambridge Investment Partnership invited Paul Digby and Charlotte Crisp from Cambridge United First Teams down to meet children from St Laurence Catholic Primary School and be challenged to a game of ‘keepy uppies’.

 

The contest was fun and competitive with Szymon reaching 12 and Ndara reaching a staggering 15 keepy uppies. Paul and Charlotte were really impressed with all the children’s skills.

 

Paul Digby from Cambridge United said,

“It is wonderful to see and hear about the plans to deliver this fantastic football pitch for all the local community to enjoy. Football at grass roots is so important and to have a facility like this will be such an asset to local people and local football teams so I am delighted to be here and show my support.”

 

Tom Hill, Regional Director of Hill said,

“We’d really like to thank Paul and Charlotte for taking the time to come and meet the children and see for themselves where we will be refurbishing the current sub-standard pitch into a much anticipated Sports England approved football pitch.

 

“Once the initial archaeology work has been completed in the next couple of weeks, we will be reopening part of the football area which will allow for more of the open space to be used by the local community in the summer holidays before further works take place in early September.”

Cllr Mike Davey, Executive Councillor for Finance and Resources at Cambridge City Council and CIP board member comments,

“This initial work on the football pitch is an exciting stage in the overall development of our Meadows and Buchan Street site which will eventually deliver a modern highly sustainable community hub, 106 new council rented apartments, as well as public open space, a new MUGA, public plaza and the retention of a café and shop space.

 

“I am really pleased that we have been able to accommodate feedback from local residents and are able to open up part of the area again for local residents to enjoy throughout the summer months. I’m looking forward to seeing local teams making the most of  the upgraded football pitch from Summer 2022 onwards.”

 

At the Meadows site CIP will be providing 78 new one and two bedroom apartments for council rent and the Buchan Street site will see 28 one and two bedroom council rented flats built. Four of the flats at The Meadows and one at Buchan Street will be for wheelchair users.

 

The new developments will offer high levels of sustainability with the community hub designed to BREEAM Excellent, which is in the top 10% of non-domestic buildings in the UK. The Cambridge Local Plan targets 19% carbon reduction on 2013 Building Regulations and both sites will achieve around 60% in carbon reduction, significantly exceeding local plan requirements.

 

In addition, there will be electric charging points for cars, 230 cycle spaces across the two sites, underground recycling bins and green roofs, with solar photovoltaic panels and gas free heating as the main energy sources.

 

A net total of 109 new trees will also be planted, and as well as retaining the zip wire and trim trail, a new skate area will be provided at the recreation ground, replacing the current provision. Enhanced meadows and woodland areas will also mean an overall improvement of 60% in biodiversity for the open space.

 

For further information about Cambridge Investment Partnership please visit www.ip-cambridge.co.uk


Planning application submitted for phase three of Colville Road

We have submitted a planning application to Cambridge City Council to build 48 brand new council rented homes and four commercial units at Colville Road, Cambridge.

The scheme, which is the third phase of the Colville Road project has been designed by BPTW Architects following consultation with the local community and features a variety of one and two bedroom council rented apartments and three bedroom council rented homes.

The project consists of two areas – a northern portion on the corner of Fisher’s Lane and a South portion on the corner of Colville Road. The proposals look to make a more effective use of the sites by increasing the number of homes currently provided from 18 to 48. We will also be re-providing and expanding the commercial units and enhancing the landscape to create a quality environment for local residents.

Cllr Mike Todd Jones, Executive Councillor for Housing at Cambridge City Council and CIP board member said, “These proposals allow us to replace existing aging council flats and maisonettes with quality rented council homes which will achieve a minimum of a 35% improvement over current building regulations, in line with our updated Cambridge Sustainable Housing Design Guide as well as providing more homes for our residents.

“We are also working with existing occupiers in the commercial units who have been offered temporary accommodation while construction of the new premises takes place.”

The existing green space within the site, which is crucial for the health and wellbeing of local residents and the character of the High Street, will be retained and improved as part of the proposals. Rain gardens will be included along the High Street to reflect those already on the other side of the road and other features include grasses, perennials and shrubs will be used at the frontage of the southern space to provide an attractive frontage and bio-diverse planting within the car parks to break up the hard standing and soften the space.

Tom Hill, Regional Director of Hill comments, “Sustainability is fundamental to us as a partnership, and we are committed to providing high sustainable new council homes that are fit for the future. As part of the proposed design, we will be taking a ‘fabric first’ approach on the buildings to ensure it is as efficient as possible, incorporating high levels of insulation and air tightness to keep heat inside and energy bills as low as possible.

“Photovoltaic panels will also generate further electrical energy for the development on the pitched roofs while green roofs will be installed on the flat roofs to increase thermal mass and aid ecology and biodiversity on the site alongside the proposed landscaping.”

The homes will be gas free – four years ahead of Government legislation, with heating provided through an electrical Air Source Heat Pump systems which converts energy from the outside air into heat through refrigeration, providing low carbon heating.

Further sustainable features include mechanically ventilated heat recovery systems in each property to ensure there is a healthy airflow throughout the building and a sustainable drainage system to aid the existing surface sewer system and to allow a more even distribution of drainage.

High levels of cycle storage will be incorporated into the development along with electrical vehicle charging points to encourage more sustainable modes of transport.


Traditional topping out ceremony marks progress at Cromwell Road

A traditional topping out ceremony has taken place at our flagship development, Cromwell Road, Cambridge to celebrate the progress of construction.

 

Ward Councillors and board members were present to officially infill the final bit of concrete to mark the completion of the highest point of the frame on Block E which consists of 50 market sale homes.

 

Cromwell Road is our largest scheme to date and will deliver 295 new homes, of which 118 will be brand new council rented homes. The former Ridgeons site will also include a nursery, landscaped central park and open spaces, play equipment, parking for cars and bicycle parking including a basement car park and electric vehicle charging spaces for every house and 10% of the communal area.

 

All of the council rented homes will be wheelchair accessible, with six of the units specially adapted for wheelchair users. Three of the homes will also be designated as ‘Housing First’ homes for people who had previously been vulnerably housed or homeless.

 

Cllr Mike Todd Jones, Executive Councillor for housing at Cambridge City Council and board member comments,

“It’s a privilege to be part of this topping out ceremony to mark the excellent progress that has been made at Cromwell Road, particularly with all the restrictions that have been in place due to the pandemic. This development will bring forward a further 118 brand new council homes to the city and help tackle Cambridge’s affordable housing shortage.”

 

The new homes will be built in line with the Cambridge Sustainable Housing Design Guide which exceeds national policy guidelines and will incorporate a number of sustainable features including green roofs on apartment blocks, photovoltaic panels on roofs of houses and apartments, sustainable urban drainage system incorporated into the landscape and denser insulation and wall thickness to minimise heat loss and reduce energy bills.

 

Tom Hill, Regional Director of Hill said,

“It is wonderful to be able to mark the milestone of this project by holding a topping out ceremony and to celebrate all the hard work by our team and partners during these unprecedented times. As a partnership we are extremely proud of this development and look forward to residents enjoying their new community for years to come.”

 

We have also committed £250,000 towards three public art commissions as well as £3.2 million towards local schools, parks, sport centres, the Chisholm trail, NHS and open space adoption.

 

The former Ridgeon Timber was founded in 1911 from the back of Cyril Ridgeon’s house in St Barnabas Road, Cambridge. By 1928 the business had grown enough to acquire the timber yard at Cromwell Road. Logs were sawn, cut and stored on the site for almost 80 years under the management of four generations of the Ridgeon family.