A massive new development boasting thousands of new homes and a population the size of Saffron Walden is one step closer to being built in Cambridge, the News can reveal.
The Government is working to help bring the development to the site currently occupied by the city’s sewage works.
A bid to secure backing for 7,600 homes on a 48-hectare brownfield site close to the new Cambridge North railway station was put in by the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority earlier this month.
Development plans for the area have been stalled for many years because of the cost of relocating the Anglian Water sewage works housed on the land.
Tonight (Wednesday) it was announced that the bid for £193m of Housing Infrastructure Funding (HIF) from the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority has gained government backing – by moving forward to the co-development stage.
Government officials will now also work with the team to further develop the bid and assess the project further. A final decision on the funding is expected in autumn 2018.
The redevelopment of the brownfield site could unlock up to 7,600 new homes and more than 7,000 new jobs in North East Cambridge, supported by amenities and community facilities.
If each new home had two occupants, the development could boast a new population of more than 15,000 – the same size as Saffron Walden.
The funding would primarily be used to relocate the existing Anglian Water Cambridge Water Recycling Centre. Without funding to support this relocation, the site cannot be developed.
"Thousands of much-needed new homes and jobs"
Speaking in reaction to the Government announcement James Palmer, Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, said: “Cambridge Northern Fringe East is an incredibly important development site for our local area.
“As the final major brownfield regeneration site on the edge of Cambridge, it holds the potential to deliver thousands of much-needed new homes and new jobs for the local area.
“Which is why we are delighted to hear that our bid has progressed to the next stage of co-development with Government.
“Being located close to Cambridge North railway station, the site already has fantastic public transport links, and would be an outstanding example of the Combined Authority’s ability to secure funds to unlock previously stalled sites in our area.
“Of course, we are taking nothing for granted, and will be working hard with our partners and Government to ensure that our bid is a success to ensure we can turn these plans into a reality.”
"An outstanding new community"
Councillor Lewis Herbert, Leader of Cambridge City Council, said it was “great news” to have gained Government support for the development.
He added: “It’s fantastic to have that support to develop, in full detail, our plans to create an outstanding new community of up to 7,600 homes and extra jobs in North East Cambridge – and to ensure it integrates well with residents and employment in adjacent areas and connects and supports growth across the county.
“The city council recently agreed an extra £799,000 for project development over the next two years, including consultation on a new area action plan and detailed strategy with residents and key organisations.
“This latest decision enables us to accelerate that work to give us the best possible chance of securing the £193m in national funding, which is vital for delivery of the redevelopment.”
Stephen Kelly, director of planning for South Cambridgeshire District Council and Cambridge City Council, said the government announcement is a positive step forward to demonstrate the “national importance of investment” in the site.
He added: “This significant brownfield regeneration opportunity identified by both councils could deliver thousands of high quality and well connected new homes and jobs.
“We look forward to working with the Government to secure the national investment.”