Developer named for major development in north east Cambridge

News release from 02/07/2018

News release from 2 July 2018, 4:37pm

CAMBRIDGE City Council and Anglian Water have today announced the appointment of a master developer for a new development that will provide thousands of new homes and jobs on the northern fringe of Cambridge.

U+I, a specialist regeneration developer and investor has been appointed, after a formal procurement process, to lead the work to transform Anglian Water’s current Cambridge Water Recycling Centre and the adjacent council owned Cambridge Northern Fringe East (CNFE) core site into a major new city quarter. Savills advised Anglian Water and the council on the procurement, alongside Eversheds Sutherland Solicitors.

Approximately 5,200 homes are planned for the core site, together with around 1m sq. ft. of commercial space (circa 7,000 jobs) and a mix of retail, community and leisure space, providing jobs and boosting growth in the city’s northern quarter.

The redevelopment of the adjacent sites covering the wider CNFE area, if enabled by the relocation of the water recycling centre, has the potential to deliver an additional estimated 2,400 new homes and around 40,000 new jobs, supported by amenities and community facilities.

Government funding of £193 million was applied for through the Housing Infrastructure Fund to cover the cost of relocating the water recycling centre, and release the largest remaining brownfield site in Cambridge.

The project to develop CNFE, which was prioritised by the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority as its only submission for the Forward Fund in this round, was one of those successfully shortlisted by the government in March of this year.

A full business case is now being prepared, and a final government decision on funding is expected early in 2019.

Cllr Lewis Herbert, Leader of Cambridge City Council, said: “We are committed to building homes for those people who are in desperate need of them. This development gives us the chance to build on a large scale and that will help us to address the housing crisis we face in Cambridge.

“Our goal is to build high quality homes, with great transport links, jobs, amenities, community facilities and schools – in other words, all the ingredients for a thriving community.

“The council has already agreed an extra £799,000 in advance of the final grant decision to demonstrate our commitment to supporting the development of a new Area Action Plan and project development over the next two years, to include consultation on the new Area Action Plan and a detailed master plan strategy with residents and key organisations. We look forward to working with our partners to move the project forward as quickly as possible.”

Fiona Bryant, Strategic Director at the council, and project sponsor, said: “We are very excited to be working with U+I, who demonstrated the innovative approach,  stakeholder engagement and partnership working we were looking for in developing homes and wider facilities for people who wish to live, work, learn and play within the  community of the whole CNFE area.” 

John Cormie, Group Property Director, Anglian Water, said: “Water powers our businesses, our communities and the regional and national economy, and enabling sustainable growth is an essential part of our role to unlocking the potential in our region.

“Our priority is always to maintain the quality of our service and ensure the best value possible for our customers. This is a really exciting opportunity to progress the development of a unique site within the city and we look forward to working closely with U+I as plans progress.”

James Palmer, Mayor of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority, said: “The importance of Cambridge to the regional and national economy cannot be overstated. But the city’s success means that it needs more new homes in well-planned community hubs, well-connected to centres of employment, and unlocking the potential of our rail network is a big part of that. I am thrilled that we can now look forward to turning ambition into reality in north Cambridge.”

Matthew Weiner, Chief Executive of U+I, said: “This site has huge potential, and our passion for place-making will help us to transform this quarter of Cambridge into a vibrant place, providing much-needed housing to this currently undersupplied market.”

Simon Hesketh, Director of Regeneration, U+I, said: “We are excited to have been selected, together with TOWN, by Anglian Water and Cambridge City Council for the regeneration of this important site. Our selection further evidences U+I’s expertise in large-scale public private partnership projects, with an overall development pipeline of over £7 billion."

Jonny Anstead, Director of TOWN, said: “We are looking forward to extending TOWN’s presence in the Cambridge market and to working with U+I and the landowners in delivering a landmark new quarter of a city that already has a reputation for producing some of the best new housing in the country.” 

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