Cambourne

  • figure_bio Landscape and biodiversity
  • figure_partnership Partnership
  • figure_infrastructure Infrastructure
  • figure_community Community

Key Statistics
Size of site 400 hectares
Number of new homes 4,250
 Number of private homes 2,975
Number of affordable homes  1,275
Start of build 1998
Anticipated completion of build 2020 

We have been one of the lead developers from the beginning. The community is arranged into three villages, which feature design details and materials inspired by the local architecture. Each village has a pleasant and attractive living environment with plenty of open space. A local centre, with shops and commercial premises, and a 20 hectare business park, offering up to 750,000 square feet of business space, have also been built. Over 1,000 people are employed at the business park and of these approximately 100 live within Cambourne. Three schools, a hotel and a sports centre provide excellent facilities for both residents and visitors. As a result Cambourne is a thriving, well balanced and sustainable community.

Landscape and Biodiversity

One of Cambourne’s strengths is its natural environment with more than half of the site dedicated as open space. It won the Landscape Institute’s Best Landscape Design Award (over 5 hectares) in 2010 and featured in their ‘Making it Home – The Power of Landscape to Create Good Housing’ published in 2010. More recently Cambourne won Best Low or Zero Carbon Initiative at the Housebuilder 2014 Awards for it’s sustainability show village, and in 2012 won Silver in the Best Landscape Design category at the What House? awards in 2012.

Wherever possible, natural features and mature trees have been retained. Existing features of the landscape are also used as part of the sustainable urban drainage system. For example ditches, ponds and streams provide drainage while green areas act to reduce rainwater run-off. A network of footpaths, cycleways, and bridleways links the residential areas with the local centre and the green spaces. This reduces the need for local car journeys. There are a number of village greens, play areas and other informal public open spaces, as well as 45 hectares of new woodland and 12 miles of hedges containing over 250,000 trees and shrubs. These areas create valuable wildlife habitats whilst also screening the development from key viewpoints outside the site and sheltering the homes from prevailing winds.

Plants and wildlife were considered at an early stage in the design process and we worked with specialist landscape consultants and ecologists to identify, protect and manage all existing habitats, as well as to create new areas of natural landscaping. The results include: 40 new bird species and a threefold increase in the number of butterfly and dragonfly species have been recorded on site since 1996; pipistrelle bats now breed on site and kingfishers inhabit the lakeside cliffs. The well stocked fishing lake is managed by the local fishing club.

Community Sustainability Fund

In October 2011 planning consent was
granted for the final phase of 950 homes (633 of which will be built by us). We carried out extensive community engagement and we involved Cambourne’s parish council
during the planning stages. Construction of this final phase began in July 2012.

All of the homes will be built to the Code for Sustainable Homes level 3 standards. As part of the Section 106 planning agreement we have contributed £633,000 (our share of a total contribution of £950,000) towards a Community Sustainability Fund. The first project to be funded will help make various buildings in Cambourne more energy efficient. Solar panels are being installed on the roofs of South Cambridgeshire District Council’s offices, the community centre, sports centre and pavilion. We are also making various community payments to both Cambridgeshire County Council and Cambourne Parish Council, including over £183,000 for primary education and over £110,000 for healthcare.

After successful discussions with the Cambridge Wildlife Trust they have  taken over the management of the informal open space, ensuring that the landscape will remain of the highest quality. This relationship has been secured with an innovative and cost effective approach. We have constructed a building on site for the Wildlife Trust, providing them with an office and additional space which they can hire out. The income received from this contributes towards the landscape management services that they provide.

Community Development

The community is well established and Cambourne has its own parish council, which evolved from the original residents association. A community centre, called The Hub, is managed by the parish council and offers indoor space for community events during the week and is available for hire by local residents at weekends. The parish council also has an office in The Hub.

We provided full funding for the construction of a sports centre, which is also managed by the parish council, a new pavilion and sport changing rooms, and various sports pitches including tennis courts, a cricket oval, and bowling greens. Opened in 2011, these sporting facilities have enabled local clubs and teams to develop. We also funded ‘The Big LEAP’, a £100,000 Bronze Age themed playground. This was designed, in collaboration with the parish council and local schoolchildren, by architects Randall Thorp and opened in time for the 2011 school summer holidays.

The local centre contains a thriving high street, including a Morrisons supermarket. Plans have been approved for two additional retail units along the high street and another three in the retail area behind it. We have also provided significant funding for a number of public buildings including a fire station, police station, doctor’s surgery, library and a communal health building. Extensive and complex infrastructure has been delivered, including major new road junctions, a new dual carriageway section on the A428 and the Caxton Bypass, and three new foul water pumping stations. We have also funded upgrades to local public transport to benefit both the people of Cambourne and their neighbours in surrounding areas.

If you would like to find out about the homes that are currently for sale at Cambourne, please click here