Work begins on major Cambridge housing project
Published by Kelly Elliott for Keepmoat in Housing and also in Communities
From l-r: Des Wain of the HCA, Cambridge City Council Executive for Housing Councillor Catherine Smart, Keepmoat Land & Partnerships Manager David Buckley, Director of Customer & Community Services for Cambridge City Council Liz Bisset and Keepmoat Land
An ambitious construction programme, which will see more than 180 new homes for affordable rent and market sale built across the city of Cambridge, has been marked with an official visit to one of the sites by the partners involved.
Representatives from Cambridge City Council, national housing and regeneration company Keepmoat and the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) visited the site in Barnwell Road to see work begin on the first of 126 much needed new council homes due to be built over the next 18 months.
In total, eight council-owned sites across the city are due to be initially developed through the scheme, providing a mix of affordable council-owned homes and properties for sale.
With long waiting lists for council houses, the project is welcome news for many thousands of families across Cambridge.
Catherine Smart, Cambridge City Council’s Executive Councillor for Housing, said: “These are the first new council homes of any significant number to be built in Cambridge for more than 20 years and they are desperately needed.
“We have recent examples of more than 155 people applying for a two-bedroom house and 178 applying for a one-bedroom flat so we know the demand is there.
“These homes will be of the high quality that our tenants deserve and expect and will be energy efficient, meaning tenants will have lower energy bills which will also be welcome.”
The areas selected for development are all brownfield sites, some of which currently contain low quality one-bedroom flats and bungalows, which will be demolished to make way for the new homes.
Work on the first three sites, in Barnwell Road, Latimer Close and Stanesfield Road, is beginning in the coming weeks.
At the Barnwell Road site 21 homes are being developed, 12 of which will be let by the council with nine for sale.
At Latimer Close 20 homes are being built, 12 affordable and eight for sale, and in Stanesfield Road eight homes are being constructed, four affordable and four for sale.
Planning permission for developments at three further sites was approved this month with work on these and the remaining two developments starting in 2014.
Keepmoat was selected to carry out the work thanks to the company’s history of developing high quality, affordable new homes, which has helped regenerate towns and cites across England.
The Cambridge contract is an important milestone for the company, marking the expansion of its new build division into the South East following growing success in the North and the Midlands.
Keepmoat Land & Partnership Director (South East) Andrew Almond said: “We are delighted to be working with Cambridge City Council on this exciting development programme which not only provides much needed affordable homes for rent by the City Council but also high quality energy efficient homes for open market sale.
“This project also marks the beginning of the expansion of Keepmoat Homes into the South East and will hopefully be the first of many new developments for us in this region.”
Government funding of £2,445,000 has been provided through the HCA, supporting these sites across Cambridge which are being developed over the next 12 months.
Des Wain, Senior Development Manager for the HCA in Cambridgeshire said: “It’s great to be able to support this project which is providing more affordable homes to those that need them in Cambridge. These homes will replace those no longer fit for purpose, providing better homes with more space and much improved energy efficiency.”
Cambridge City Council and Keepmoat have just received planning permission for three more of the eight total developments, in Water Lane and Green End Road, Aylesborough Close and Campkin Court.
At the Water Lane and Green End Road site 14 new affordable flats are being built for the council, alongside, six flats and four houses for sale.
At Aylesborough Close there will be 12 affordable flats and eight affordable houses with 15 properties for sale, while at Campkin Court 14 affordable flats and seven affordable houses will be constructed, as well as 12 properties for sale.