Planning applications submitted for the first Pilot Passivhaus council homes in Cambridge

We have submitted two planning applications to pilot the first ‘Passivhaus’ council home projects in Cambridge. The planning applications at Fen Road and Ditton Fields will provide 18 low carbon new council homes as part of the Cambridge City Council’s programme to provide new homes in the city and its commitments to tackling the climate emergency.

Working closely with experienced architects, Pollard Thomas Edwards, the pilot new ‘Passivhaus’ council homes will have very high standards of environmental sustainability, with all the homes having very low energy use and heating costs. They will be built using off-site timber frame systems, with thick highly insulated walls and gas free heating.

Computer Generated Image of Ditton Fields

Cllr Richard Johnson, Executive Councillor for Housing at Cambridge City Council and CIP board member said, “As part of the council’s new Housing Sustainable Design Guide, these planning applications for the first pilot ‘Passivhaus’ council house developments are a major step forward to addressing both the housing needs and towards our goal to be a zero net carbon city in the coming years.

“The design of these homes will help tackle fuel poverty with low running costs, resulting from minimal energy being used to keep the home warm, and air leakage at a very low level.”

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. The proposed housing scheme will provide 12 low carbon new council homes and 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.

Six ‘Passivhaus’ new council homes are also proposed at Ditton Fields along with parking spaces with electric vehicle charging points, secure cycle parking for every home and new trees and planting provided in front on the new homes on Ditton Fields.

Tom Hill, Regional Director of Hill comments, “We are committed to providing high environmental standards and we are delighted to be submitting our first ‘Passivhaus’ schemes. As well as providing these low carbon homes, all our developments are now gas free, five years ahead of the Government’s targets with high levels of insulation and are built in accordance with the Cambridge Sustainable Housing Design Guide.”

Our team has worked with Pollard Thomas Edwards, The Environment Partnership and Carter Jonas to bring forward these two schemes.


Buyers boomerang back to Mill Road in Cambridge

After recently returning to their two-bedroom Victorian home in Petersfield, Cambridge, following a 12-year stay in China, Phil and his wife realised that they needed a home that better suited their needs but refused to leave this hidden gem in the heart of Cambridge.

Phil comments:

“We originally moved from London to Cambridge back in the early 2000’s as it was more convenient for work, and we immediately fell in love with Mill Road. It has so much to offer – a vibrant community feel along with a fantastic selection of independent shops, cafes, pubs and restaurants. Particular favourites are the extensive spice den at Al-Amin, and the 100% vegetarian wholefood shop, Arjuna. The area reminded us of our favourite parts of London and we sought to purchase our first home here in 2003.”

“We then relocated to China in 2007 for work and became very accustomed to the fantastic array of local produce and ingredients that were available whilst living abroad. We were pleased to return to Mill Road to see that it had maintained its independent, culturally diverse, identity.”

The couple found Ironworks, Mill Road, located just 500 metres from their previous property, early in their property search. Phil states:

“When we decided to move we found it tricky to find anywhere that really lived up to what Mill Road has to offer. We wanted more space and the convenience of a modern construction, but didn’t want to compromise on location, so we were really excited when we found Ironworks.”

Ironworks is located in the midst of all that Mill Road has to offer, with a vibrant mix of independent shops, cafes, pubs and restaurants all available on residents’ doorsteps. A hidden gem, the area is one of Cambridge’s most diverse and intriguing neighbourhoods.

Phil continues:

‘The three-bedroom house at Ironworks ticked all of our boxes. It offered us more space, the all-important location, and energy efficient features such as the electric car charging point and solar panels – certainly quite the upgrade from our 150-year-old Victorian home!”

Before the pandemic, Phil regularly commuted to Royston, which would take him just 15-minutes from Cambridge train station. Phil comments:

“What we love about Ironworks and the surrounding area is that it is a real hidden city gem and that it is just an eight-minute walk to the station. Living here means that I get to enjoy all that Mill Road has to offer and I can easily commute to Royston, and to London. You can also catch a direct train to Stansted Airport from Cambridge station that takes just 30 minutes – this will be helpful when international business travel resumes.

“Working from home will be far more common than before, so we’re really pleased to have a third bedroom which we have transformed into a home office. We’re also very grateful to have outdoor space with the front terrace and the rear courtyard, which the living room opens onto, really allowing the outside space to be a part of the living area.”

Phil in Mill Road


Residents Liaison Meeting to be held for The Meadows and Buchan Street

Cambridge Investment Partnership is inviting local residents around The Meadows and Buchan Street Neighbourhood Centres to attend an online Residents Liaison Meeting on Wednesday 27th January from 6pm to 7pm.

The virtual meeting is being held to provide an update on the planned development scheme for The Meadows and Buchan Street Neighbourhood Centre sites, giving an overview of the design and construction phases, updates and key next steps in terms of housing, new community hub and public art and a chance for residents to ask the Cambridge Investment Partnership team any questions.

To join the meeting on Zoom and if you wish to ask the team a question please email simon.aslett@cambridge.gov.uk by Monday 25th January 2021. Questions will be taken in advance of the meeting.

Further information can also be found here:  https://www.cambridge.gov.uk/get-involved-in-the-new-neighbourhoods

Cambridge Investment Partnership was granted planning for The Meadows and Buchan Street site in August 2020. The two existing community facilities will be replaced with a modern, highly sustainable community hub, along with brand new council rented apartments, new open space, a public plaza, and retention of a café and shop space.

The Meadows site will provide 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.

A net total of 109 new trees will also be planted, and as well as retaining the zip wire and trim trail, a new MUGA (multi-use games area), an improved free-draining football pitch, new play areas, and a new skate ramp will be provided at the recreation ground, replacing the current provision. Enhanced meadows and woodland areas will also mean an overall improvement of 65% in biodiversity for the open space.


Cambridge Investment Partnership consults local community on new low carbon council homes

Residents are being invited to take part in the public consultation to develop two new sites for much needed council homes. They are being developed by Cambridge Investment Partnership for consideration by the Housing Scrutiny Committee in January. These sites form part of Cambridge City Council’s programme to provide new homes in the city.

The two sites, purchased by Cambridge City Council earlier this year, are located at 71-73 Fen Road, East Chesterton, currently not in use but accommodating two existing single storey buildings, which are in a poor state of repair and were previously used as an assisted living facility and Ditton Walk in the Abbey Ward of the city.

The proposed housing scheme at Fen Road will provide 12 low carbon new council homes and 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.

The new homes will be certified ‘Passivhaus’, meeting very high standards of environmental sustainability, meaning all the homes will have very low energy use and heating costs. 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.

At Ditton Walk, Cambridge Investment Partnership is proposing to provide six low carbon new council homes, also ‘Passivhaus’ with parking spaces with electric vehicle charging points, secure cycle parking for every home and new trees and planting provided in front on the new homes on Ditton Walk.

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

“These proposed homes form part of our vision to create highly sustainable, successful new places for local people to live in Cambridge. We are also committed to achieving the highest environmental standards for our new homes, with all future developments being gas-free and these proposals marking the Council’s first ‘Passivhaus’ developments and the largest Passivhaus scheme in Cambridge to date.”

Tom Hill, Regional Director for Hill comments,

“It’s a really exciting time for the Partnership as we develop these new proposals for our low carbon council homes. The public online consultation for Fen Road is now open and we urge the local community to visit the website and view the proposals. We are also hosting live webinar for this project on Wednesday evening where you can find out more about these proposals and ask the project team any questions.”

The live webinar for Fen Road will take place on Wednesday 16th December at 6pm where the project team will talk through the exhibition boards for the sites. Residents will have the chance to send in questions ahead of the webinar and the team will respond to any received before or during the live webinar, as well as responding separately to any enquiries received afterwards. To register please visit https://yoursay.online/fen-road#live-webinar. Feedback can also be shared by contacting ltatton@conciliocomms.com or call freephone number 0800 193 1869.

Residents can also leave feedback for the Ditton Walk site by contacting ltatton@conciliocomms.com or calling freephone number 0800 193 1869.

To view Fen Road consultation website please visit https://yoursay.online/fen-road. The exhibition boards can also be viewed at https://yoursay.online/assets/fen-road-consultation-boards-website.pdf


Work starts at Colville Road to deliver 67 new council homes

We have started work on site to deliver 67 brand new council homes at Colville Road, Cambridge.

The development replaces two housing blocks containing 24 post war aging council homes with a much larger housing scheme and improved landscaping to help meet the housing need in the city.

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

“As a partnership we are pushing forward, and exceeding, our target to deliver at least 500 brand new council homes by March 2022. So far we have achieved planning permission for 598 new council homes as well as 316 private sale homes. We are delighted to start on our 12th project at Colville Road to deliver much needed homes for local residents.”

The design of Colville Road is a result of consultation with the local community and will feature a variety of houses and apartments. Landscaping will also be used to create areas of play, communal gardens and routes through the site with generous flower beds and tree planting to minimise the visual impact of car parking.

Tom Hill, Regional Director for Hill said,

“The homes at Colville Road have been designed in accordance with the Cambridge Sustainable Housing Design Guide and will bring the site up to date, delivering high quality brand new council homes which are in keeping with the local neighbourhood.”

The homes will be gas free – five years ahead of Government legislation - and include energy saving features such as wider cavity walls filled with denser insulation to reduce heat loss and energy bills; Mechanical Ventilation Heat Recovery which reduces the energy demand of the properties and carbon emissions; Communal Air Source Heat Pumps will serve the apartments with photovoltaic panels to offset the electricity used to power the heat pumps; green roofs; electric vehicle charging points, together with sustainable urban drainage system.

We have already been working closely with Colville Primary School providing buddy shelters and mud kitchens for their playground, branded stationery and construction dressing up items and toys including hard hats, hi vis and toy tools to form part of the early years construction role play. The children have also been creative and designed some really colourful posters focusing on how to stay safe on a building site.

 

A number of trees which have been removed from the existing landscaping on site, prior to demolition have also been replanted at the school with the site team and year six pupils.

 

 

 


Vehicle Access to Ironworks, Mill Road development

We are transforming the former Mill Road Depot into a vibrant residential area, together with new areas of open space, a brand new community centre, retail/office space together with associated external works including cycle parking and landscaping. The development, which is located within the Mill Road Conservation Area, will eventually create 236 new studio, one and two bedroom apartments and two, three and four bedroom homes, with half for private sale and half as council rented homes.

Vehicles will only be able to access the development from Mill Road. At the northern end of the site, Eagle Foundry Street will become a paved path that is closed to vehicles and will run through the park to connect with Hooper Street. Removable timber bollards will be locked in  place at the entrance to Hooper Street, preventing vehicle access to the site, apart from by emergency vehicles. Cyclists and pedestrians will be able to access the development from Hooper Street.

The development is in a prime location for access by public transport, cycling and walking with a reduced reliance on the private car. The streets have been designed to promote low traffic speeds and are lined with housing frontages, open spaces and include tree planting to create leafy, well overlooked streets.

Low kerbs are also being used to contribute to the pedestrian friendly character of the development and raised sections of the roads will be located at the end of streets to help further reduce speed and promote pedestrian priority.

Vehicle Access to Ironworks, Mill Road


Local Councillor opens new sales suite at Cromwell Road

We are delighted to have recently welcomed Lewis Herbert, Leader of Cambridge City Council to open the sales and marketing suite for private homes at Cromwell Road, our largest scheme to date.

Located in the heart of Cambridge City, the development is delivering 295 new homes, 177 of which will be available through private sale and 118 as brand new council homes.

The former merchant’s site will be transformed into an exciting new development that will see much needed quality homes provided, including one- and two-bedrooms apartments and three- and four-bedroom houses. 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 for families to enjoy.

Great attention has been placed on the architecture, creating a distinctive look that reflects the area’s industrial heritage. Drawing on the site’s former usage as Ridgeon’s timber yard which dates back over 100 years, the brickwork includes a striking mix of light and colour tones to represent the textual quality of the sawn and stacked timber, with the façade of each brick adapted to look like the grain typically found on timber.

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 of the council rented homes on the development will be constructed to the same high efficiency levels and the whole project will be tenure blind.

Councillor Lewis Herbert, Leader of Cambridge City Council comments:

“This development has been thoughtfully designed as a wonderful new community with a stunning open space at its heart, plus a nursery and community space on site. It will provide top quality new homes for over 170 households looking to buy a place near central Cambridge in vibrant Romsey ward. In addition, it adds 118 vital extra council homes that are badly needed at affordable rents by local Cambridge people.

“We are so proud of our work with Hill, building out partnership sites across Cambridge, a first rate, highly regarded and expert housebuilder. People should come and have a look at the show home and they’ll see the quality of the homes already finished, and the determination from Hill and the council that quality continues until the last home is completed and the last bit of lawn and shrubbery is green and flourishing.”

Tom Hill, Director at Hill said:

“This is a huge milestone for Cambridge Investment Partnership, as we open up the sales and marketing suite. These private homes are what enables us to continue delivering quality housing across the City, and we’re looking forward to welcoming potential buyers. The sales suite includes two show homes, which are exact replicas of the apartments and houses available to buy.

“It’s been fantastic to have such strong support from local Councillors and we look forward to delivering many more homes thorough this great partnership in the future.”


Milestone as we hand over our first brand new council homes at Ironworks, Mill Road

As part of our commitment to tackle the housing crisis in the city and provide new homes for local residents, we have completed the first four brand new council homes at our flagship Ironworks development in Mill Road, Cambridge.

The development will create 236 new studio, one and two bedroom apartments and two, three and four bedroom homes on the former Mill Road depot site, with half for private sale and half as council rented homes. The first council homes handed over comprise of a two bedroom home and three, four bedroom homes.

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

“It is really exciting to see these first council homes at Ironworks being handed over to local residents. This is our first development where we will be building a mixture of private and council rented homes, as well as a brand new community centre which will serve the wider community.

“Sustainability is also a key focus for us and we are creating attractive, energy efficient homes which are fit for the future and are fully integrated into existing neighbourhoods.”

As part of the project, a brand new highly sustainable community centre is being built, as well a new on-site neighbourhood park, Eagle Park, which will feature a large play area, rainwater gardens and green open spaces. An extensive public art programme is also a key feature of Ironworks with £200,000 allocated towards four commissions. An additional £3.3 million contribution will also be given towards local schools, parks, sports centres, NHS, Chisholm trail and open space adoption.

Tom Hill, Regional Director of Hill comments,

“We are extremely proud of what is being created at Ironworks. The development has been designed to reflect the industrial  character of the area by combining bold and contemporary design to create a distinctive collection of homes, in keeping with the aesthetics of the area and providing a seamless transition between the private sale and council rented homes.”

Sustainability is an integral part of the design process and the homes at Ironworks include increased cavity wall insulation thickness, mechanical ventilation heat recovery (MVHR), photovoltaic solar panels, the rainwater gardens, swales, new habitat creation and green roofs.

As part of this development, the Chisholm Trail will see a new leg added, opening up a North-South route for pedestrians and cyclists in the city centre which has been closed to the public for over 100 years.

 


Markham Close marks the completion of our garages sites

The final site, which forms part of the City Council’s strategy to use under-utilised parcels of land for brand new council homes, has been completed at Markham Close, Cambridge.

Markham Close is located in the Kings Hedges ward of the city and features five brand new one bedroom council rent flats with off street parking. Designed by architect, Rock Townsend the homes are energy efficient and include a number of sustainable features such as photovoltaic solar panels, reduced water consumption and a reduction in carbon emissions.

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

“Markham Close marks the completion of our city-wide strategy to use parcels of land that offer the potential to be developed to provide much needed council homes for local residents. As a partnership we have been able to progress five of these garage sites which have created 15 new council homes in the past six months.

“We are continuing to build new private sale and council housing on a number of sites across the city as part of its commitment to deliver more than 500 new council homes to the city by March 2022. The council will also continue to look for under-utilised pieces of land to support its new council housing developments.”

Tom Hill, Regional Director for Hill comments;

“These garages sites have formed an important part of our build strategy to create new homes on sites that were either disused or being used as a source of anti-social behaviour.

“There is a real need for more housing in Cambridge and it is wonderful to see new residents moving into their brand new homes here as well as recently at Queen’s Meadow, Wulfstan Way, Colville Garages and Gunhild Way.”

Markham Close Completion


Residents move into their new council homes at Wulfstan Way

We have handed over a further three brand new council homes at Wulfstan Way, Cambridge as part of our commitment to deliver more than 500 new council homes to the city by March 2022.

Wulfstan Way, located in the Queen Edith’s Ward of the city, features two brand new two bedroom council homes and one, three bedroom council home, all with off street parking. The site was identified as part of the City Council’s strategy to use under-utilised parcels of land and has been built simultaneously with CIP’s other garage sites at Queen’s Meadow, Markham Close, Colville Garages and Gunhild Way.

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

“As demand for housing continues to grow across the city, our garage sites strategy is turning disused and neglected garage sites into much needed council homes for local residents. We are delighted to officially mark the completion of this site and see three local families move into their brand new homes.”

Designed by Mole Architects, the homes are energy efficient and include a number of sustainable features including photovoltaic solar panels, reduced water consumption and a reduction in carbon emissions.

Tom Hill, Regional Director of Hill comments,

“We have now delivered 66 brand new high quality council homes across the city in the past six months and are delighted to see the positive reactions from local families who are moving into their new homes.”

Welcoming Residents at Wulfstan Way