The first planning application for thousands of new homes in the North East Cambridge development could come forward next year. Around 8,000 homes are proposed to be built as part of plans to create a new city district on the site of the existing sewage works on the edge of Cambridge.
The master developers for the largest part of this new district, LandsecU+I and TOWN, are currently working on proposals for 5,600 homes. This part of the development has been given the name Hartree after Eva Hartree who was the first female Mayor of Cambridge.
At an online public meeting this week (Monday, September 25), representatives of the developers said they hoped to make the planning submission for Hartree to Cambridge City Council in mid to late 2024. They said they expect the planning process to take a couple years and that building the development could take around 20 to 25 years to complete.
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The developers said they wanted to create a “robust and resilient place for the future”, that was also a “pioneering new place in Cambridge”. The Hartree development is planned to include three neighbourhoods, which the developers said they want to be “enjoyable and walkable”. Some of the new streets are proposed to be car free and others low car use to try and encourage people to walk and cycle.
The planners said they were “quite passionate about providing really good public transport” in the development, and explained the current plan is to extend an existing bus route through the site. They said bus stops would be placed to make sure people would not have to walk too far from their homes to reach one. However, they said discussions were ongoing as to how frequent this service would be.
The developers said sustainability was a big consideration for them, stating that just putting solar panels on roofs was “not enough”. They explained that they were looking at how homes and businesses would be powered and said there should be sustainable modes of transport. They also highlighted water supply, mentioning things that were being considered such as how water could be reused and how water could be collected in the development.
The developers said a range of building heights were proposed in Hartree, with apartment buildings around five to eight-storeys tall, and townhouses planned to be three to four-storeys tall. They added that some buildings would reach the maximum 10-storeys allowed for the site. The planners explained that taller buildings are proposed to be built along the A14 edge, to help reduce the noise from the road, as well as towards the southern end of the site, with the lower buildings planned on the eastern edge next to the railway line.
The developers said they were also committed to making the development policy compliant in building affordable housing, which they said at the moment required 40 per cent of homes to be affordable housing. However, they said what types of homes these would include and how many would be shared ownership or rented would be decided following more discussions with council officers.
The North East Cambridge development is dependent on the new Cambridge Waste Water Treatment Plant getting permission to be built just outside of the city on land known as Honey Hill. Anglian Water is currently pursuing a development consent order to try and get permission for this work. The Hartree development team said they recognised that if permission for the replacement sewage works was not granted, then this would stop their plans from being able to come forward.