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Master developer named for new city quarter near Cambridge North

By Ben Comber

Anglian Water treatment works North Cambridge
Anglian Water treatment works North Cambridge

The development would replace the water recycling centre east of Milton Road.

A master developer has been appointed to deliver thousands of new jobs and homes in Cambridge.

They would be based on the site of Cambridge Water Recycling Centre, near Cambridge North station.

The development is being called Cambridge Northern Fringe East, thought to be the largest remaining brownfield site in the city.

The government confirmed in March that a Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) bid by the Combined Authority, Cambridge City Council, Anglian Water and other partners, had been shortlisted to move to co-development stage.

U+I, a specialist regeneration developer and investor has been appointed, after a formal procurement process, to lead the work.

Cambridge Northern Fringe East is to be a new city quarter.

Approximately 5,200 homes are planned for the core site, together with around 1m sq. ft. of commercial space (circa 7,000 jobs) and a mix of retail, community and leisure space. The redevelopment of the adjacent sites covering the wider CNFE area, if enabled by the relocation of the water recycling centre, has the potential to deliver an additional estimated 2,400 new homes and around 40,000 new jobs, supported by amenities and community facilities.

Cllr Lewis Herbert, Leader of Cambridge City Council, said: “We are committed to building homes for those people who are in desperate need of them. This development gives us the chance to build on a large scale and that will help us to address the housing crisis we face in Cambridge.

“Our goal is to build high quality homes, with great transport links, jobs, amenities, community facilities and schools – in other words, all the ingredients for a thriving community.

“The council has already agreed an extra £799,000 in advance of the final grant decision to demonstrate our commitment to supporting the development of a new Area Action Plan and project development over the next two years, to include consultation on the new Area Action Plan and a detailed master plan strategy with residents and key organisations. We look forward to working with our partners to move the project forward as quickly as possible.”

Fiona Bryant, Strategic Director at the city council, and project sponsor, said: “We are very excited to be working with U+I, who demonstrated the innovative approach, stakeholder engagement and partnership working we were looking for in developing homes and wider facilities for people who wish to live, work, learn and play within the community of the whole CNFE area.”

Government funding of £193 million was applied for through the Housing Infrastructure Fund to cover the cost of relocating the water recycling centre.

A full business case is now being prepared, and a final government decision on funding is expected early in 2019.

Anglian Water has given no indication as to where it will relocate.

Matthew Weiner, Chief Executive of U+I, said: “This site has huge potential, and our passion for place-making will help us to transform this quarter of Cambridge into a vibrant place, providing much-needed housing to this currently undersupplied market.”

Simon Hesketh, Director of Regeneration, U+I, said: “We are excited to have been selected, together with TOWN, by Anglian Water and Cambridge City Council for the regeneration of this important site. Our selection further evidences U+I’s expertise in large-scale public private partnership projects, with an overall development pipeline of over £7 billion.

Jonny Anstead, Director of TOWN, said: “We are looking forward to extending TOWN’s presence in the Cambridge market and to working with U+I and the landowners in delivering a landmark new quarter of a city that already has a reputation for producing some of the best new housing in the country.”


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