Newly-appointed Northstowe developer Urban Splash would transport hundreds of pre-homes to new town site
By Ben Hatton - Local Democracy Reporter
Hundreds of homes planned for the new town in Northstowe could be built in a factory over 100 miles away and driven to the site using specialist vehicles.
The government’s housing agency, Homes England, has chosen developer Urban Splash to deliver 406 homes in the centre of the Northstowe new town, with the aim of starting construction in 2020, subject to planning approval.
The company creates modular homes using “prefabrication” techniques in its Alfreton factory, in Derbyshire.
To demonstrate how the homes may reach Northstowe, the company said that for similar projects each floor has been constructed individually and made to specification at the factory, and is then escorted using specialist low loaders to the construction site where it is “plugged in”.
In the case of Northstowe, that would mean the pre-made buildings would be driven over 100 miles from the factory.
Homes England is leading the delivery of 8,500 new homes on the site of the former RAF Oakington barracks by 2040.
The area is set to become the largest new town since Milton Keynes, with more than 10,000 new homes proposed.
Urban Splash’s plans will need to be granted planning permission before they can go ahead.
Homes England’s executive director for land, Stephen Kinsell, said: “We’re pleased to have Urban Splash join us at Northstowe and look forward to working with them on the next steps for the development as they seek to secure planning permission.”
Urban Splash’s director, Nathan Cornish, said: “We are thrilled to be working in Cambridge, a new place for Urban Splash, but one that’s already on the map for interesting and pioneering housing design.
“Our plans are to make well designed, modular housing more widely available and we are delighted to be working with our long term partners Homes England to make this happen in Cambridge.”