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Cambridge City Council

Cambridge Investment Partnership granted planning for the first pilot Passivhaus council homes in Cambridge

24 August 2021

Cambridge Investment Partnership (CIP) has been granted planning to deliver the first pilot ‘Passivhaus’ council homes project in Cambridge.

The development at 71-73 Fen Road, East Chesterton will provide 12 low carbon new council homes for local families, comprising 8, two bedroom homes; 2, three bedroom homes; 1 three bedroom wheelchair adapted house and 1 four bedroom wheelchair adapted house.

Cllr Mike Todd-Jones, Executive Councillor for Housing at Cambridge City Council and CIP board member said, “We are delighted to achieve planning to pilot the first ‘Passivhaus’ council homes in Cambridge which will bring much needed new family council rented homes for those on our housing register, including specialist adapted family housing.

“These homes will be delivered to a very high standards of environmental sustainability in and will also contribute towards our goal to be a zero net carbon council in the coming years.”

Cambridge Investment Partnership has worked with experienced architect Pollard Thomas Edwards, The Environment Partnership and Carter Jonas to bring forward the scheme.

The pilot ‘Passivhaus’ council homes will have very low energy use and heating costs and will be built using off-site timber frame systems, with thick highly insulated walls and gas free heating.

Tom Hill, Regional Director for Hill comments, “This is a significant milestone for our Partnership as we bring forward the first pilot ‘Passivhaus’ council homes in Cambridge. The aim of this pilot scheme is to allow us to explore the delivery of cost efficient low carbon housing for the future in terms of up-front building costs, ongoing maintenance costs for as the Council and low bills for residents.”

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.

As part of the development, CIP will 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.

Passivhaus buildings achieve a 75% reduction in space heating requirements compared to the standard practice for UK new build homes. The Passivhaus standard therefore gives a robust method to help the industry achieve the 80% carbon reductions that are set as a legislative target for the UK Government.

Cambridge Investment Partnership (CIP) is an equally owned partnership between Cambridge City Council and Hill Investment Partnerships established in 2017 to address the acute housing need by providing high quality new council homes, market sale homes and commercial and community facilities.

A year ahead of its initial target, to start at least 500 council homes by March 2022, as part of the £70m Cambridgeshire and Peterborough devolution grant, it is now on site building over 500 new council homes (900 homes in total), has already completed seven sites under Covid guidelines and is now working to delivering a minimum of 1,700 new homes, with 1,000 being council homes within 10 years, including the first Passivhaus accredited council homes in Cambridge.