The governing body of the University of Cambridge has given formal approval for the first phase of the North West Cambridge development by AECOM

Regent House development
Aecom's masterplan for phase Phase One of the North West Cambridge development has received formal approval from the University of Cambridge, Regent House

The three local authorities involved have resolved to grant outline planning permission for a mixed-use development on the 150-hectare site of university owned farmland in the northwest quadrant of the city, in August 2012, subject to the signing of a Section 106 legal agreement, planning conditions and reserved matters approvals.

Phase One of the development will include approximately 530 homes for qualifying university and college staff, 450 homes for sale through residential developers, accommodation for 300 students, a local centre along with community facilities and much of the site infrastructure, which will enhance connections to and within the local area. It also includes substantial landscaping with over a third of the overall site dedicated to both formal and informal green space.

It is estimated that Phase One will cost £281 million, with the scheme in its entirety costing £1 billion.

The North West Cambridge development is a major part of the university’s long-term future says pro-vice-chancellor Jeremy Sanders. ‘It will provide much of the residential and research accommodation that the university needs as it grows over the next 20 years.’

Attracting world-class academics, researchers and research partners is vital if the university is to retain its world-class position, he adds. ‘Being able to provide high-quality, affordable housing in a thriving community will be an important element of our attraction to staff and students, and Phase One of the development focuses on this immediate need.’

North West Cambridge is the largest development in the country to be built to the Code for Sustainable Homes Level 5 and BREEAM Excellent for other uses, says project director Roger Taylor. ‘The ambition to create a low-carbon community incorporates a green travel plan and energy and utilities systems – the development will be an exemplar of sustainable living.”

Subject to the approval by the local planning authorities, work on infrastructure will start later in 2013, and the first buildings will be completed from late 2015. More details can be found on www.nwcambridge.co.uk

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