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Cambridge City Council

Cambridge Investment Partnership breaks ground at Orchard Park

10 January 2022

Work has started on site at L2 Orchard Park, Cambridge with a ground-breaking ceremony to mark construction of 75 new homes, including 30 brand new council homes.

Cambridge Investment Partnership is developing one of the last parcels of land which has been allocated for housing following revision of the planning application by CIP and Mole Architects to improve the design of the site.

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.

Cllr Mike Todd Jones, Executive Councillor for Housing at Cambridge City Council and CIP board member said, “2021 was a really successful year for the partnership with our target to start on site 500 new council homes by March 2022, reached a year early along with obtaining planning permissions to drive forward our low carbon council homes.

“Starting work on site at Orchard Park will provide a highly sustainable new housing scheme and allow us to deliver much needed new council homes to the north of the city.”

The highly sustainable development at Orchard Park has been designed to feature two apartment blocks and a row of coach houses and will be ‘gas free’ with air source heat pumps, biodiverse green roofs, six electric charging spaces, one hybrid/electric car club vehicle and above policy cycle parking provision for 124 bike spaces.

Tom Hill, Regional Director of Hill comments, “We are pleased to be starting work on our 14th site as a partnership which will deliver a mix of market sale and brand-new council homes. We have worked extremely hard to produce a scheme which is not only highly sustainable for residents to benefit from but also improves the recreational and biodiversity of the area which the whole community can enjoy.”

The homes will be built in line with the Cambridge Sustainable Housing Design Guide using standards which exceed national policy guidelines including denser insulation and wall thickness to minimise heat loss and reduce residents’ energy bills and will include sustainable drainage features.

Throughout the planning process the team also worked closely with local residents on the masterplan to improve the adjacent open space.

Extensive recreational and biodiversity improvements have been included along with a community growing garden, pergola and seating area, trim trail, running track, table tennis table and generous planting.

Improvements to the public realm have also been made to provide new open spaces that integrate with and enhance the neighbouring public open space, creating a coherent, connected neighbourhood in Orchard Park.

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, CIP 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.