Calling all budding artists!

With the Easter holidays taking quite a different format this year and a few weeks of home-schooling already under our belts, we wanted to create a bit of fun for children by holding a ‘Design Your Dream Sustainable Home’ competition.

The competition is split into three different age groups:

  • 0 to 5 year olds
  • 5 to 10 year olds
  • 10 to 15 year olds.

All you need to do is get those creative juices flowing and design what you think your dream sustainable home should look like.

Things to consider:

  • Make sure you include the typical rooms your normally find in a home such as kitchen, living room, bathroom and bedrooms
  • Think about the environmental features such as green roofs, solar panels, insulation
  • Include some recycling features
  • And add a bit of imagination and fun

The five best entries from each of the age groups will be selected by our investment team and will then be displayed on the front of the hoardings on one of our Cambridge Investment Partnership sites, along with the family tour of the site and a Hill ‘goodie bag’ featuring pens, teddy, memory stick, note pads, water bottle and bag.

Entries can be scanned or photographed and emailed to us at

Closing date for the competition is Friday 17th April. Please share with your friends – we can’t wait to see the entries!

COVID-19/Coronavirus Response and Updates

The safety and well-being of our colleagues, supply chain and customers is our main priority. Over recent weeks we have followed guidance from Government and Public Health England and implemented a number of changes to our business in order to keep our colleagues and stakeholders safe.

However, in light of the Prime Minister’s statement on the evening of the 23rd March, we now believe the time is right to begin an orderly close down of our core operations until this crisis is beyond us.

Whilst the Government guidance remains unclear, particularly with the Secretary of State last night tweeting that construction and housing can continue working from site within social distancing guidelines, we are strongly of the opinion we have reached the moral and practical point at which it is no longer possible for us to continue to operate in a business as usual manner.

We will therefore be taking the following actions:

CIP Sites: Construction operations on site will cease by close of business on Friday 27th March. We have been planning for this over recent weeks, and so have a clear plan for doing so. It is important that we continue until Friday so that we can ensure an orderly and well managed close down. Health and Safety is a priority on site and we are prioritising operations over the next few days to leave our sites in a safe and orderly manner.

Up until the point of close down, sites will continue to operate within social distancing guidelines and with the enhanced hygiene measures we have already put in place over recent weeks.

Those who continue to work on site will manage the situation sensibly and practically, including:

  • avoiding public transport
  • working to a strict rota basis
  • implementing stringent hygiene policies
  • minimising close contact with others and practising social distancing
  • managing welfare according to Government guidance
  • spacing out desks as necessary within our site offices

Office based staff: Please direct all communications by email or phone to the relevant persons and assume that any post will not be opened until it is possible to return to our offices.

As the COVID-19 situation evolves, we are closely monitoring, and will continue to follow, the guidance of Government and Public Health England. As and when there are any significant changes, we will be sure to update our staff, clients, partners, customers and supply chain as quickly as possible.

Green light for council homes at Campkin Road

Our proposals to build 75 new council homes at Campkin Road, including four houses, 71 apartments and a new community centre, have been given the green light by Cambridge City Council.

The development, which was approved unanimously by Planning Committee on 4th March, will see the demolition of 32 aging flats and garages on the site and provide much needed, high quality, council rented homes at 67-97A Campkin Road, in the Ward of Kings Hedges.

The accommodation will range from two bedroom houses through to one and two bedroom apartments, with buildings varying in height of between two and four storeys. A new fully accessible community centre will also be located on the ground floor level of the north-western most building.

Cllr Richard Johnson, Executive Councillor for Housing for Cambridge City Council and CIP  board member comments:

“We are delighted to have achieved planning permission for another site in Cambridge which will deliver high quality and energy efficient council homes replacing housing that was in need of significant improvements. We will continue to support residents directly affected in their house moves which includes a right to return to the newly built homes.”

The plans at Campkin Road also retain the area of protected open space to the east of the site whilst creating other open spaces within the site, including private gardens for the houses, a communal garden together with the provision of play equipment to the north-western part of the site.

Tom Hill, Regional Director at Hill said,

“The site at Campkin Road allows us to make more efficient use of the land and replace homes that are no longer fit for purpose with a brand new sustainable development which will assist in creating an inclusive, safe and vibrant community.“

The Campkin Road development meets high standards of sustainability with fabric-first construction to include thicker, denser insulation to minimise heat loss and residents energy bills; Mechanical Ventilation Heat Recovery for all properties; green roofs; electric vehicle charging points; low carbon heating; solar panels to both the apartments and housings together with sustainable urban drainage integrated into hard landscaping including permeable paving.

Campkin Road has well-located open spaces near to the site including Nun’s Way park and Arbury Town Park, as well as excellent transport links to the city centre. The development benefits from its close proximity to Cambridge’s network of cycle lanes and offers residents ample space for parking.

All of the homes will be built in line with the Cambridge Sustainable Housing Design Guide and will go beyond the requirements of the adopted Cambridge City Local Plan.

Orchard Park blog image

New site purchased at Orchard Park

We are continuing our drive to deliver brand new affordable council homes across Cambridge with the purchase of a new site in Orchard Park.

The 0.29 hectare vacant site is one of the last parcels of land at Orchard Park and has been purchased from Turnwood Ltd.

Cllr Richard Johnson, Executive Councillor for Housing for Cambridge City Council and CIP  board member said:

“We are extremely pleased to have purchased another site which enables us to continue to push ahead and exceed our target of 500 brand new council homes by March 2022.”

Tom Hill, Regional Director of Hill adds,

“Over the coming months we will work with our team to develop plans which will deliver high quality, energy efficient homes and create a brand new community for all to enjoy for years to come.

“We will also hold a number of consultation sessions with local residents and groups to take on board their views and comments ahead of submitting our planning application later in the year.”

The new scheme at Orchard Park will have good links to Cambridgeshire Guided Busway and will be close to a number of important cycle  ways which provide fast and direct access to Cambridge city centre. The homes will also benefit from the new Cambridge North railway station which is nearby.

Three year anniversary sees us celebrate great achievements

It’s three years since we formed Cambridge Investment Partnership and already we are ahead of our target to deliver 500 brand new council homes by March 2022.

Successes to date include:

  • 11 sites under construction
  • 405 council rented homes already achieved planning
  • Additional 195 council rented homes expected to achieve planning by year end 2020
  • 336 council rented homes started on site
  • 895 overall homes in programme

As well as new homes, we are providing community and commercial amenities which will form an integral part of CIP’s developments across the city, these include:

  • Five new community centres across four different wards
  • A major new community hub serving Arbury, King’s Hedges and nearby residents in South Cambs
  • A brand new pre-school in Romsey and enhanced pre-school in Arbury to meet a critical local need
  • Seven new shops/cafes/offices that will also provide flexible facilities to meet local demand
  • £450,000 invested in public art commissions
  • Four new parks being created at Mill Road and Cromwell Road
  • The entire Meadows open space is being replanted and landscaped, with existing recreation facilities being preserved and enhanced
  • The Chisholm Trail will see a new leg added as part of the Mill Road development, opening up a North-South route for pedestrians and cyclists in the town centre which has been closed to the public for over 100 years
  • £7,199,774 worth of S106 money committed to local schools, parks, sports centres, NHS and The Chisholm Trail

Cllr Richard Johnson, Executive Councillor for Housing for Cambridge City Council and CIP board member said:

“The formation of this equal partnership has allowed us to increase the pace we are able to design and build brand new council rented and private sale homes in neighbourhoods across the city on council owned land but also secure sites on the open market to deliver larger scale schemes, such as Cromwell Road, enabling us to create mixed and balanced communities.”

Sustainability is integral to the design process. All homes built are in line or go beyond the Cambridge Sustainable Housing Design Guide which already exceeds national policy guidelines.

Developments include features such as:

  • Enhanced Biodiversity including:
  • Green roofs
  • Bird and Bat boxes
  • Over 200 new trees planted
  • Creation of biodiverse meadows
  • Sustainable Urban Drainage to future proof against climate change
  • Low Carbon Energy Efficient design including:
  • A Fabric First approach to energy efficiency though better insulated homes requiring less heating
  • Solar Photovoltaic panels to supply power to communal areas and homes
  • Battery storage saving energy from Solar PV
  • Combined heat and power generating hot water, heat and electricity
  • Air Source Heat Pumps
  • Electric car charging points
  • Significant cycle storage

Tom Hill, Director at Hill comments:

“Using the Partnerships’ knowledge and expertise we have been able to bring forward our plans and are creating high quality market sale and affordable properties which will be fully integrated into the neighbourhoods. Community is key in everything we do and we have, and will continue to,  work closely with residents and community groups to ensure the commercial and communities facilities we are delivering are enhanced and accessible to all. Through our supply chain we are also promoting training and apprenticeship opportunities on our projects and have a target of 5% of the workforce to be from the local community.

“Cambridge has an acute shortage of affordable homes and the new truly affordable council homes we are delivering will have a positive impact on families and the local communities where we are building.”

Delivering for the community at Akeman Street

Work has been progressing well since work started on site at Akeman Street towards the end of last year. We have recently seen the demolition of  the existing older building to allow us to develop the wider site and provide much needed brand new council rented homes.

When completed, 14 brand new council rented homes will be available; consisting of eight flats and six maisonettes as well as three new retail units and a brand-new community centre. We appreciate how important the community centre is to the residents so have arranged for this to be re-located to  39 Akeman Street, whilst the works continue, ensuring that the busy centre can continue its popular activities.

Claire Flowers, Head of Housing Development Agency for Cambridge City Council and CIP Investment Team member said,

“The redevelopment of Akeman Street will further add to the supply of new council homes in the city to better meet residents’ needs and will also provide an improved, modern, more generous community centre for everyone to use and enjoy.”

Tom Hill, Regional Director of Cambridge Investment Partnership comments,

“It is wonderful to see the community at Akeman Street continuing to enjoy their many groups in the temporary centre we have created and look forward to welcoming them all into the new centre when it is completed.”

Enhancing the Cityscape at Ventress Close to deliver brand new council homes

As part of our pledge to deliver at least 500 brand new council homes by March 2022, work commenced at the end of last year on our Ventress Close project.

Through innovative planning and designs, we are making better use of space to enhance the cityscape and increase the number of new council homes available for local residents.

The site is located in the central area of Queen Edith’s Ward and includes the demolition of four maisonettes and construction of 15 brand new energy efficient homes, featuring 12, one and two bedroom flats and three, three bedroom homes with designated parking and landscaping.

Sustainability is key and these new homes will all have photovoltaic solar panels and sustainable drainage that will reduce carbon emissions by 19%.

Claire Flowers, Head of Housing Development Agency and CIP Investment Team Member comments,

“We are committed to developing a mixed portfolio of sites and Ventress Close is an example of where we are making better use of space to enhance the surrounding area and providing much needed brand new council homes for local residents.”

Tom Hill, Regional Director at Cambridge Investment Partnership said:

“As a partnership we are committed to creating much needed affordable new homes for local residents across the City which are energy efficient and fit for the future.”

Providing more than just housing

This week the Cambridge Investment Partnership team and Councillors celebrated another successful start on site at Cromwell Road, Cambridge, in the heart of the city.  This is the 11th start on site for the partnership since CIP was established in 2017 and it shows our total commitment to address the housing shortage across Cambridge.

Cromwell Road is our largest scheme in its pipeline and will deliver 295 new homes, with 40% (118 homes) being brand new council rented homes.

The former merchant’s site will be transformed into a vibrant community that will see much needed quality homes provided; with bicycle parking, parking for cars - including a basement car park and electric vehicle charging spaces for every house. Creating a cohesive community is at the heart of the development and this scheme will also see the development of a new community centre and nursery along with open spaces and play equipment to enjoy.

All of the council rented homes will be wheelchair accessible, with six 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.

These homes will all 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 the roofs of houses and apartments, a sustainable urban drainage system incorporated into the landscape and denser insulation and wall thickness to minimise heat loss and reduce energy bills for residents.

All private for sale houses on the development will be constructed to the same high efficiency levels and the whole project will be tenure blind.

Cllr Richard Johnson, Executive Councillor for Housing said:

“I’m really pleased to see the progress made in getting the Cromwell Road site ready for construction. This site will regenerate a part of Romsey delivering over 100 new low-carbon council homes of a high quality, exceeding national standards of sustainability and comfort.

“With nearly 300 new homes in total on the site, this development will make an important contribution to our commitment to tackling Cambridge’s affordable housing crisis.”

Tom Hill, Director at Hill said:

“Cromwell Road is going to be an attractive development of 295 new homes, that will also have a park, children’s nursery and community centre. This is an exciting project for Cambridge Investment Partnership and we’re confident the end result will be an excellent addition to Cambridge and its inhabitants. As a growing city, Cambridge needs more quality housing and our partnership is committed to delivering just that by utilising land where we can. At Cromwell Road, we’re building on land which was previously occupied by the well-known builders merchant, Ridgeons, and it’s great to see the project finally taking shape and coming to life.”

A partnership addressing the housing shortage across Cambridge

It has been widely reported that The Chartered Institute of Housing and National Housing Federation are both calling for more than 1.5 million social homes to be built over the next 10 years, with at least 90,000 of these for social rent each year.

And through CIP, an equal partnership between Cambridge City Council and Hill Investment Partnerships, we are already addressing the housing shortage and delivering brand new council rented and market sale homes across Cambridge.

CIP was set up in 2017 in a bid to tackle the affordable housing shortage across the city by investing and transforming Council-owned and other land across the city and bringing together the best of public and private sector expertise to provide homes that are fit for the future.

Having already started on site at ten locations across the city, we are anticipating being on site and building in excess of its committed target of 500 new council rented homes by March 2022.

We will also be developing a mixed portfolio of sites ranging from two units in a garden infill or garage site, making use of under-used parcels of City Council land, through to large-scale residential brownfield development which is providing a mix of market and affordable housing, including 295 at Cromwell Road.

Claire Flowers, Head of Housing Development Agency for Cambridge City Council and CIP Investment Team member said:

“Through this partnership, it has enabled the Council to accelerate its plans to build more affordable housing.

“As well as building brand new council homes we are also replacing poor quality homes with new highly sustainable homes and providing a mix of market sale properties which will be fully integrated into the neighbourhoods.

“We already have planning permission for 700 new homes across 11 sites which includes 354 brand new council homes which means we are 71% towards our target of 500.

“In addition, the partnership has identified the potential for a further 1000 new homes which will include at least 400 new council rented homes and we are expecting be on site and  reach our target 18 months earlier than originally planned.”

Community is also at the forefront on every development and we will carefully consider community and commercial amenities, such as community centres and green space, along with job and training opportunities to ensure residents lifestyles are enhanced. We are also committed to creating vibrant communities for existing and new residents that will support the local economy for the future.