The North West Cambridge site is a mixed use development being developed by the University of Cambridge.

It will comprise 3,000 new homes, student accommodation for 2,000 students, academic and research facilities, a community centre, primary school, local centre including a supermarket and health centre and open space and recreation facilities, including allotments and sports provision.

Early on in the process of developing the Area Action Plan the Cambridge City Council and South Cambridgeshire District Council recognised that development of this site presented an opportunity to deliver higher levels of sustainable construction than were possible elsewhere in the city.

The objectives of the Area Action Plan include:

  • Creation of a sustainable community;
  • Making the best use of energy and other natural resources, to be built as an exemplar of sustainable living with low carbon and greenhouse gas emissions and be able to accommodate the impacts of climate change;
  • To achieve a modal split of no more than 40% of trips to work by car (excluding car passengers) and to maximise walking, cycling and public transport use; and,
  • To provide standards for infrastructure provision including renewable energy, open space, car and cycle parking, sewerage and surface water drainage.

The Area Action Plan contains a number of policies that seek to ensure that the North West Cambridge development becomes an exemplar of sustainable development, responding to the challenges posed by our changing climate. The policies include: sustainable travel; public transport provision; cycling provision; walking provision; climate change and sustainable design and construction; and, surface water drainage.

The outline application, which included a detailed Sustainability Framework for the development adapted from BioRegional’s One Plant Living principles and the Olympic Delivery Authority Sustainability Strategy, included:

  • Provision of an energy centre in the local centre comprising gas fired CHP with a district heating network to serve the development;
  • An underground waste collection system; and,
  • An extensive SUDS network utilising features such as balancing ponds located within open spaces and features within the built development such as swales, rain gardens and channels.

A committed to deliver all of the housing at Level 5 of the Code for Sustainable Homes and BREEAM ‘excellent’.

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