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351 new homes on land north of Cherry Hinton to feature air source heat pumps

Air source heat pumps will be installed at the first 351 new homes approved for land north of Cherry Hinton - and the developer said it will be one of the first major developments to feature them.

Detailed plans were this week approved by councillors, who praised the energy efficiency measures for the homes on the edge of Cambridge.

A CGI of the development at Cherry Hinton North. Image: Bellway Latimer LLP (63437228)
A CGI of the development at Cherry Hinton North. Image: Bellway Latimer LLP (63437228)

Outline approval was given back in 2020 for up to 1,200 homes at the Springstead village development, as well as a retirement village, primary and secondary schools, community facilities, open spaces and allotments.

Last month, as reported, councillors approved an application setting out the details for some of the supporting infrastructure for the new development, where the aim is that everyone will be able to walk to the local centre within 10 minutes.

The latest application for the first homes was submitted by Bellway Latimer LLP to Cambridge City Council and South Cambridgeshire District Council.

Of the 351 homes, 210 are proposed to be made available for market sale, with 98 designated for social rent, and 43 for shared ownership.

David Fletcher, a representative of the developer, told councillors at a joint development control committee on Wednesday (April 5), that the proposals closely followed the approved design code, which he said had been put forward for a national award.

He said energy efficiency was an “integral” part of the design process for the development.

Mr Fletcher told councillors that all of the homes would have air source heat pumps, and said he believed this was one of the first larger developments to do this.

He said they had “sought to maximise dual aspect” homes, and said that the “minimal” number of flats that were single aspect were not north facing and that other design measures had been taken to prevent overheating.

Mr Fletcher said: “We are excited to implement this first phase of the development, which we believe will set the standard for all future phases of this development.”

Cllr Katie Thornburrow (Lab, Petersfield) said the scheme “achieved so much energy efficiency”, but was “disappointed” there were still some single aspect homes proposed.

Cllr Simon Smith (Lab, Castle) said he welcomed the plans to install air source heat pumps across the development.

Air source heat pumps are a low-carbon alternative to heating your home with gas or oil.

They transfer heat from the outside air to water, which is used to heat your rooms via radiators or underfloor heating.

They work by absorbing heat from the air into a refrigerant, which circulates in a pump and is compressed, raising its temperature. The heat is then transferred to water.

They can work at up to temperatures as low as -15C.

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