Four years on from the formation of the equal partnership between Cambridge City Council and Hill Investment Partnership, Cambridge Investment Partnership (CIP) has exceeded its commitment to start on site to build 500 new council homes by March 2022 – a year early.
The partnership, which was established in February 2017, is addressing the acute housing need in Cambridge by providing high quality brand new council homes and market sale homes, along with commercial and community facilities.
It has already handed over 90 new council homes to local residents and has completed seven sites, with work just starting on its new developments, Campkin Road and The Meadows and Buchan Street.
Cllr Richard Johnson, Executive Councillor for Housing for Cambridge City Council and CIP board member comments, “When the partnership was set up four years ago, we gave ourselves the ambitious target to be on site building 500 new council homes by March 2022. We are delighted to have achieved this a year ahead of schedule and have now committed further to delivering a minimum of 1,700 new homes, of which 1,000 will be council homes within the next ten years.”
Four years on, CIP has a mixed portfolio of sites from large city centre brownfield sites providing market and council homes at Mill Road and Cromwell Road; estate regeneration schemes with existing communities and businesses who need to be moved to another location such as Anstey Way and Colville Road and infill schemes, utilising under-used parcels of council land to provide council homes.
Tom Hill, Regional Director of Hill, said: “We are really proud of what we have achieved so far. Cambridge Investment Partnership is a success story and we are continuously looking at how we can do more and do things better. Our public consultation process has got better, and we are building higher sustainable homes, with all new developments now gas free, four years ahead of the Government’s targets and our first pilot ‘Passivhaus’ council home schemes submitted for planning.
“As well as providing high sustainable new homes, it is important to us that we are investing in the local community in the form of community centres, open space and public art. We are really pleased to be starting at Campkin Road and The Meadow and Buchan Street to deliver much needed new council homes.”
Campkin Road will see the replacement of 32 post war aging council homes and garages, which are no longer fit for purpose, with four new council houses, 71 apartments and a new community centre to meet the needs of the local community.
The homes will range from two bedroom houses through to one and two bedroom apartments, with buildings varying in height of between two and four storeys. CIP will also be creating a new fully accessible community centre which will be located on the ground floor of the north western most building. Campkin Road has been designed to be in keeping with the local area and will meet high standards of sustainability, being gas free, four years ahead of government legislation, with air source heat pumps, solar thermal, solar PV and waste water heat recovery, green roofs and electric vehicle charging points.
As part of the Campkin Road development, an area of protected open space to the east of the site will be retained with other open spaces created 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.
Work has also just started at The Meadows and Buchan Street sites where 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.
The new developments will offer high levels of sustainability with the community hub designed to BREEAM Excellent, which is in the top 10% of non-domestic buildings in the UK. The Cambridge Local Plan targets 19% carbon reduction on 2013 Building Regulations and both sites will achieve around 60% in carbon reduction, significantly exceeding local plan requirements.
In addition there will be electric charging points for cars, 230 cycle spaces across the two sites, underground recycling bins and green roofs, with solar photovoltaic panels and gas free heating as the main energy sources.
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 FA approved football pitch, new play areas, and a new skate ramp will be provided at the recreation ground, replacing the current provision.
As part of the approved plans 93.6% of the open space will be retained, as opposed to 85% proposed under the first consultation and 92% in the second. Enhanced meadows and woodland areas will also mean an overall improvement of 65% in biodiversity for the open space.