MORE than 100 new council homes, plus a new community centre and a shop unit, are set to be built on the sites of two existing community centres owned and managed by Cambridge City Council.
The proposals published in a new report would enable the council to complete its programme to build at least 500 new council homes in five years using the £70m secured in the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough devolution deal, as well as its own funding.
Following a review of the council’s community centres in 2016-17, the Meadows Community Centre in Arbury ward could now be redeveloped to provide 85 one- and two-bedroom council flats and a purpose-built new community centre, if plans are approved.
In addition, the nearby Buchan Street Neighbourhood Centre in King’s Hedges ward could be incorporated into the new Meadows site and replaced with 21 new council flats and houses plus retail space, also subject to approvals.
Building the new, larger community centre at The Meadows would mean improved community services and facilities for the area as a whole when the work is complete. Under the proposals Buchan Street Neighbourhood Centre would remain open until the new centre at The Meadows is operational.
The review of community centres in 2016-17 set out the council’s plans for ensuring community facilities are correctly located for residents with the greatest need, and are flexible enough to meet the changing needs of the city in the coming years.
The review found that the facilities and services currently offered at Buchan Street Neighbourhood Centre could be provided by a new centre to be built at the Meadows site, with the two sites also presenting an opportunity to build a significant number of much-needed new council homes. If the proposals for the sites are approved, there will be a public consultation this year.
Cllr Richard Johnson, Executive Councillor for Housing, said: “These exciting proposals will see more of the high quality new council homes which the city is crying out for being built, alongside some excellent new facilities that will meet the needs of the community in the years ahead.
“We are committed to building the types of housing which many Cambridge people badly need, and will continue to explore innovative ways to help solve to the city’s housing crisis, including by using council-owned land to build more homes.”
Cllr Anna Smith, Executive Councillor for Communities, said: “This proposal not only provides much-needed council housing. It also means that people in the north of the city will have a new, first class community centre on their doorstep.
“We want that centre to meet local needs and we will be working hard to ensure local people are consulted so that they get the services they want and need.”
The proposals will be considered by councillors at Housing Scrutiny Committee on 16 January, and if approved, would be consulted on by the public later this year.