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Feedback sought on updated plans for 260 homes and market square in Cambourne

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Revised plans for 260 homes and a market square in Cambourne have been unveiled.

South Cambridgeshire Investment Partnership (SCIP) – an equal partnership between the district council and the developer Hill – is seeking comments on the refreshed proposals.

Its plans cover 8.5 acres of land north of Lower Cambourne, on a meadow that is south of the Cambourne Business Park road.

The site area near Cambourme Business Park
The site area near Cambourme Business Park

Previously earmarked for offices and car parking, it is now proposed to build 260 “environmentally-friendly” homes, 40 per cent of which will be classed as affordable housing, of various types. A large central park and market square are also planned.

The homes will range from one-bedroom apartments to five-bedroom family homes, while green space to aid biodiversity, a children’s play area and walking, cycling and pedestrian routes and public transport links are also promised.

The existing marketing suite would be converted to a café.

[Read more: What happens if we don’t build more homes in South Cambridgeshire and Cambridge?]

SCIP says the development will be entirely gas-free, as it will use air source heat pumps in every home, alongside water-efficient technology to reduce water consumption.

With thick walls and high performance insulation, the homes will also stay warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.

South Cambridgeshire District Council will own and manage the affordable rented homes and these will be upgraded further to meet either Passivhaus or net zero carbon standards.

The partnership pledged that at least half of the homes will have electric vehicle-charging points, with the rest benefiting from the ductwork installed for easy future connection.

[Read more: Biodiverse habitats ‘will be destroyed by £160m Cambourne to Cambridge busway’]

New trees, hedges, wildflowers, a pond and swales will aid wildlife, and the existing woodland will be preserved, SCIP said.

These proposals follow feedback from a consultation last year, which prompted a reduction in the number of homes planned.

Bode Esan, one of the council’s SCIP board members, said: “We have redesigned the masterplan to ensure we address a key planning consideration – how do we make sure this new, sustainable community is integrated into the rest of Cambourne and specifically walking and cycling links with the emerging Cambourne West development?

“With the increase in public spaces, the market square and the masterplan redesign, I am confident we have answered that question and we are looking forward to further discussion with local residents to make sure we are delivering what the local community wants and needs.”

Rob Hall, one of Hill Group’s SCIP board members, added: “At SCIP we’re firm believers that it’s not just what we build that is important, but also how we build it. This partnership will prioritise local supply chains, employ local apprentices on site where we can, conserve water and waste and, of course, ensure the design meets with our sustainability ambitions.”

Following in-person events and a webinar on the new plans over the last week, the partnership is seeking feedback via an online survey until August 6 at scipatcambourne.co.uk/, prior to a planning application due in autumn.

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