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Hundreds of new homes for private rental market approved at Eddington

More than 300 new homes for the private rental market will be built at Eddington after final approval was granted by councillors.

Artists’ impression of what the development could look like Picture: Jo Cowen Architects
Artists’ impression of what the development could look like Picture: Jo Cowen Architects

Members of Cambridge City Council and South Cambridgeshire District Council approved a reserved matters application for the Eddington Avenue site at a joint development control committee meeting.

The application asked for approval to build 373 homes, as well as for the appearance, layout and access of the site.

The homes will form part of the University of Cambridge’s North West Cambridge development, which was granted outline approval for up to 3,000 homes in 2013.

This section of the site will include 112 houses, with a mix of semi-detached and terraces, and 261 flats, which will be included across four apartment blocks. All of the homes are planned to be privately rented to families.

Concerns over the plans were raised by some members of the public at the meeting last Wednesday (August 17), who said previous work on the wider development had “negatively impacted residents to a dire extent”.

Some councillors raised concerns over the number of flats that were planned to be single aspect, where only one side of the flat faces the outside.

Cllr Dr Tumi Hawkins (Lib Dem, Caldecote), lead cabinet member for planning at the district council, said: “The majority of apartments – 79 per cent – are proposed to be single-aspect and for me that raises a big concern, especially when the quality panel also were concerned about that and actually their conclusions talk about potential overheating.

“I would be interested if any of the designers actually live in single-aspect flats, because it is one thing to model and say it is going to work, and it’s another to actually have to live in it and make it work for you.”

Cllr Katie Thornburrow (Lab, Petersfield), the city council’s executive councillor for planning policy and infrastructure, highlighted particular advice from a sustainability code that recommended avoiding large south-facing windows and the need for external shading to keep the sun off the south-facing windows to protect from overheating.

A sustainability officer explained that the issues around the proposed single-aspect flats had been “extensively discussed” during the pre-application process and confirmed the applicant had undertaken a lot of detailed modelling to ensure the risk of overheating was mitigated.

The £160m scheme has been designed by Jo Cowen Architects and construction is due to start later this year. The homes will be developed, owned and managed by Present Made.

Alan Penfold, executive director of Present Made, said: “Present Made of Eddington will offer the UK’s first ever homes to have been designed and built from the ground up specifically for rent, situated within a community setting that has sustainability and wellbeing at its very core.

“High-quality rental housing that is flexible yet secure in tenure, attainably priced and responsive to the needs and wants of modern renters is critical to addressing the shortage of accommodation in the Cambridge market.”

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