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Green light for 4,500 homes near Cambridge

Published: 4 February 2021 - Neil Mead

Waterbeach New Town East is set to get a further 4,500 new homes after South Cambridgeshire district council granted outline planning approval a few days ago.


The new development is five miles north of Cambridge and comprises a mixture of one-bed flats and family homes of up to five beds with 30 per cent being affordable.

Planning consultants Boyer submitted the application on behalf of RLW Estates - a consortium comprising Royal London, St John's College, Cambridge and Turnstone Estates.

Turnstone Estates managing director Chris Goldsmith said: "We are committed to delivering a new community that will place cyclists and pedestrians at its heart, creating an environmentally conscious and future-proofed development."

The site is on land between the former Waterbeach airfield and barracks to the west and the ‘Fen Line' railway line which links Cambridge to Ely to the east.

South Cambridgeshire District Council's Lead Cabinet Member for Planning, Cllr Dr Tumi Hawkins, said: "One of our key aims now is to work with RLW Estates to ensure the development comes forward while being respectful of the village of Waterbeach. We'll also be working alongside our local government partners to progress the necessary transport upgrades, including local public transport, cycling and walking routes."

The scheme will offer 24,800 sqm of employment space, plus additional retail and community space with 35 hectares of open space, including a 20-acre country park.

New scheme will be well-connected

RLW Estates gained permission to relocate the station at Waterbeach village to the new town back in 2018 to offer good communication links.

"Its delivery is crucial for ensuring sustainable transport options from day one and we now look forward to working with our partners to bring the plans forward," said Mr Goldsmith.

The station will have two platforms long enough for eight-carriage trains with the potential for 12 carriage trains in the future.

"It will result in a new, modern station that existing and future residents will benefit from," said Cllr Hawkins.

The development will offer more than £100m towards local infrastructure, such as improving the busy A10, with one secondary, two primary schools and a six-form college planned.

Bridging loan intermediary Hank Zarihs Associates said the new scheme was the type of project property development lenders would be keen to finance.

Waterbeach New Town East will be developed alongside Urban&Civic's consented scheme in 2019 to build 6,500 homes at Waterbeach Barracks.

Waterbeach New Town was allocated for a development of about 8,000 to 9,000 homes in the 2018 local plan. The final decision as to whether the current project can go ahead will lie with housing secretary Robert Jenrick.


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