Major milestone as our first residents move into their brand new council homes

With construction sites being given the green light to reopen following lockdown restrictions, we are delighted to be welcoming our new residents to their brand new council rented homes at Anstey Way in Trumpington, Cambridgeshire.

We have been able to partially re-open our sites under strict Government guidelines which has allowed a limited number of staff to return to work to complete nearly finished units in order to get them handed over to those already allocated the new council homes.

Tom Hill, Director of Hill said,

“As a partnership we are committed to delivering much needed new council homes in Cambridge and following a review of our procedures we have been able to operate on site, under social distancing rules, in order to complete a number of new homes for local residents. We are delighted that we have been able to do this and see the completion of these much needed, high quality council rented homes.

“We also welcome the opportunity for local Cambridge subcontractors, who are often self-employed, to be able to return to work on the CIP sites. Our thoughts continue to be with those who are suffering from Covid-19 and their families.”

Anstey Way is our first completed development which has replaced 26 aging council homes that were previously on the site with 56 one, two and three bedroom council rented apartments for local residents. So far 37 new homes have been handed over with a further 19 in the coming weeks.

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

“In these uncertain times, it is wonderful to see residents moving into their brand new council homes at Anstey Way and the positive impact these properties are having on the families and the local community.

“Providing new council homes remains a top priority for the council as we work to address the housing affordability crisis in the city. I would like to thank the team who have worked tirelessly over many weeks to put in place programmes to allow this vital work to be completed. This development also marks a significant point in our partnership with Hill to deliver 500 brand new council homes across the city by March 2022.”

We are also working hard to complete three brand new council homes at Colville Garages, two at Queens Meadow and two at Gunhild Way.

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.

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.”