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Cambridge City Council

Cambridge Investment Partnership submits planning application for the first Passivhaus council homes in Cambridge

News release from 26 February 2021

Cambridge Investment Partnership has submitted two planning applications to pilot the first ‘Passivhaus’ council home projects in Cambridge.

The planning applications at Fen Road and Ditton Fields will provide 18 low carbon new council homes as part of the Cambridge City Council’s programme to provide new homes in the city and its commitments to tackling the climate emergency.

Working closely with experienced architects, Pollard Thomas Edwards, the pilot new ‘Passivhaus’ council homes will have very high standards of environmental sustainability, with all the homes having very low energy use and heating costs.

They will be built using off-site timber frame systems, with thick highly insulated walls and gas free heating.

Cllr Richard Johnson, Executive Councillor for Housing at Cambridge City Council and CIP board member said, “As part of the council’s new Housing Sustainable Design Guide, these planning applications for the first pilot ‘Passivhaus’ council house developments are a major step forward to addressing both the housing needs and towards our goal to be a zero net carbon city in the coming years.  

“The design of these homes will help tackle fuel poverty with low running costs, resulting from minimal energy being used to keep the home warm, and air leakage at a very low level.”

The site at 71-73 Fen Road, East Chesterton, is currently not in use but accommodates two existing single storey buildings, which are in a poor state of repair and were previously used as an assisted living facility.

The proposed housing scheme will provide 12 low carbon new council homes and create a new, safe and green access for walking and cycling to the Five Trees open space, which will be preserved in its entirety, helping the local community to enjoy this space. 

There will also be parking spaces with electric vehicle charging points and generous provision for new cycle parking. This well positioned site will provide easy access to the city centre and other amenities for local residents.

Six ‘Passivhaus’ new council homes are also proposed at Ditton Fields along with parking spaces with electric vehicle charging points, secure cycle parking for every home and new trees and planting provided in front on the new homes on Ditton Fields.

Tom Hill, Regional Director of Hill comments, “Cambridge Investment Partnership is committed to providing high environmental standards and we are delighted to be submitting our first ‘Passivhaus’ schemes. As well as providing these low carbon homes, all our developments are now gas free, five years ahead of the Government’s targets with high levels of insulation and are built in accordance with the Cambridge Sustainable Housing Design Guide.”

Cambridge Investment Partnership has worked with Pollard Thomas Edwards, The Environment Partnership and Carter Jonas to bring forward these two schemes.

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Cambridge Investment Partnership (CIP) is an equally-owned partnership between Cambridge City Council and Hill Investment Partnerships established in January 2017 to tackle the affordable housing shortage in Cambridge.

Together the innovative partnership works to fund the development of council-owned land, as well as buying land, to provide a range of market and affordable housing, along with commercial and community facilities. 

They will deliver at least 500 council rented homes as part of the £70m Cambridgeshire and Peterborough devolution grant by March 2022.

With their combined skills, expertise and experience they ensure that the partnership meets Cambridge city residents’ priorities and needs in regard to affordable housing.