£14.3m of deals agreed by Investment Partnership and South Cambridgeshire District Council

£14.3m of deals agreed by Investment Partnership and South Cambridgeshire District Council

The new South Cambridgeshire Investment Partnership (SCIP), a 50:50 partnership between South Cambridgeshire District Council and housebuilder, Hill Group, has agreed to purchase 19.2 acres of land on the Cambourne Business Park for £12.9m. The site is expected to deliver around 275 new homes, 40% of which will be affordable housing managed by the Council or a housing association.

It marks the maiden land acquisition for SCIP, which was formed in 2020 to generate brand new, long-term revenue streams, investment opportunities and assets for the Council, without drawing on any existing landbanks or Council assets. Over the next four years, the Council is actively looking to invest up to £170m with its investment partners in the acquisition and development of land in South Cambridgeshire and the wider travel to work area, as determined by the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Independent Economic Review (CPIER).

Cambourne Business Park

South Cambridgeshire District Council is also making a major investment in the future of Cambourne Business Park with two smaller separate transactions — an empty plot of land on the Business Park identified for commercial activity and key parts of the infrastructure of the Business Park. The total cost of these two transactions is £1.4m. These acquisitions also give the Council wider control of, and the ability to initiate, carefully considered further development at the Business Park as part of a proactive approach to recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cllr Bridget Smith, the Leader of South Cambridgeshire District Council, said: “These deals represent a direct and long-term investment into this local community — establishing Cambourne as one of Cambridgeshire’s prime business locations and playing an important part in our commitment to bringing forward new homes that are truly affordable to live-in. As the amount of funding we receive from central Government has decreased over time, our Investment Strategy enables us to find new ways to generate income that not only helps fund frontline services, but directly benefits the local area and economy too.

“Through these purchases, we will be providing much needed new homes and state-of-the-art commercial spaces. Additionally, the entire development process will support local jobs, apprentices and supply chains, whilst ensuring that we can keep the environment at the heart of the design and construction process.”

Rob Hall, Deputy Managing Director of the Hill Group, commented: “Building a successful development and investment pipeline without a landbank to draw on is a brand new model of public/private partnership and we are delighted that our first scheme will be such a prominent site within Cambourne. Our team brings over 20 years of experience in sourcing land and building exceptional sustainable homes, as well as unrivalled expertise in delivering successful partnership schemes. We look forward to working with the neighbouring residents to further enhance this thriving community, while also investing in the local economy and providing long-term returns for the Council.”

Cambourne Business Park at night

The first, and largest of the sites, comprises 19.2 acres of brownfield residential land to the south of the access road. It has been purchased by SCIP and is allocated in the District Council’s current adopted Local Plan for residential and employment use. It has the potential to deliver around 275 new homes, with 40% affordable.

The second site, being purchased just by South Cambridgeshire District Council, comprises 2.77 acres adjacent to South Cambridgeshire Hall, with detailed planning consent for 48,000 sq ft of office space, set within the Cambridge Compass Enterprise Zone area. The Council has also purchased three acres of associated infrastructure land around the access road, including a car park, the marketing office and two electric car charging points. These two smaller parcels of land were purchased solely by, and will be retained by, the Council.

The Council and SCIP will speak with neighbouring residents and businesses, along with the Greater Cambridge Shared Planning Service, to bring forward detailed planning applications, with a focus on sustainable design in line with the Council’s aspirations towards net zero carbon.

Cambourne Business Park is located nine miles west of Cambridge, set in 55 acres of picturesque parkland with lakes, cycleways and footpaths. It was awarded Enterprise Zone status in 2016 and benefits from business rates discounts for businesses located within the Zone.

To find out more about the South Cambridgeshire Investment Partnership and its plans for the site in Cambourne visit www.SC-IP.co.uk

Header image shows Rob Hall, Dept MD at Hill Group, with Cllr Bridget Smith.

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