University's £1bn North West Cambridge development moves forward
The University of Cambridge has signed its Section 106 legal agreement to unlock its £1bn North West Cambridge development, providing 3,000 homes and 4,300 jobs in Cambridge. The scheme is the single largest Code for Sustainable Homes Level 5 development in the country.
The 150ha-site masterplan includes 3,000 homes, 2,000 student bed spaces and 100,000 sq m of academic and commercial research work space. 50% of the homes will be affordable, provided on subsidised rents for University and College staff, with the remaining 50% developed by private residential developers for open market sale.
The masterplan, developed by AECOM, is designed to respond to the University’s changing needs over a period of 20+ years within the context of the expanding city of Cambridge. The development will include substantial landscaping: over a third of the site will be dedicated to both formal and informal green space.
The University will now submit a series of Reserved Matters Applications for the scheme. Phase One of the development will include approximately 530 homes for University and College staff, 450 homes for sale through private residential developers, accommodation for 300 students, community facilities and much of the site infrastructure.
Subject to securing approval, work on infrastructure will start later this year. The first buildings are scheduled for completion from late 2015. AECOM has advised the University on town planning, masterplanning, landscape design and sustainability for the project since 2003, and will continue to be lead consultant throughout Phase One.
In order to meet Code for Sustainable Homes Level 5, daily potable water consumption has to be reduced to 80 litres per person, a level not yet reached on such a scale in the UK. AECOM is developing a pioneering water management strategy to capture and treat stormwater runoff from the site, using an integrated network of sustainable drainage systems (SuDS). This is the first stormwater recycling scheme in the UK and one of the largest in the world. The SuDS system will reduce flood risk downstream and will also store filtered water in a dedicated series of ponds on site.
Water from the ponds will be distributed through a non-potable network to provide an alternative water source to homes, helping to decrease potable demand. This will complement water efficiency measures within the buildings. A water company partner will be brought on board to operate the non-potable water scheme.