Local councillors and guests were on hand to mark the completion of the highest point of Cambridge Investment Partnership’s Campkin Road development at a recent topping out ceremony.
The traditional ceremony was marked by using a bough of an evergreen tree, which was nailed to the structure of the building, a custom used in Roman times to protect buildings from evil spirits.
At Campkin Road, CIP has replaced 32 post war aging council homes and garages, which were no longer fit for purpose, with four new council homes, 71 apartments and a new community centre for the local community.
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.
Cllr Gerri Bird, Executive Councillor for Housing for Cambridge City Council and CIP board member said, “It’s wonderful to be part of this topping out event to mark the important milestone in this 100% affordable housing development. As well as providing these sustainable new council homes for local residents, we will also be delivering a state-of-the-art community centre for the wider community to enjoy for years to come.”
The homes at Campkin Road have been designed to integrate with the local surroundings, across four buildings, with the new fully accessible community centre located on the ground floor of the north-western most building.
The development will be gas free with heating and hot water provided via a communal Air Source Heat Pump system with a combination of photovoltaic and solar thermal panels located on the roof. Fabric improvements are also being made to reduce heat and energy loss, with 200mm cavity wall and roof insulation, enhanced on the industry standard, leading to a greater reduction in the energy demand in the homes, as well as triple glazed windows throughout.
Tom Hill, Regional Director for Hill comments, “As a partnership, we are always looking at ways to improve and enhance what we do in order to improve the quality of life for our residents. At Campkin Road we have ensured that the development is gas free and designed to a high standard of sustainability with improvements on the current requirements for insulation, therefore helping to reduce the impact of fuel poverty for our residents.
“In addition, we are also committed to providing public spaces in the form of community centres which can be used to promote health, happiness and wellbeing. We look forward to seeing all the community groups making use of this space in the near future.”
All the homes at Campkin Road are also fitted with Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery (MVHR) which extracts warm damp air from the house and provides fresh filtrated air into the building whilst ensuring no energy loss.
Externally the development also benefits from sedum green roofs, and extensive soft landscaping. Biodiversity is also being enhanced with new trees being planted to encourage insects and other wildlife as well as many of the existing trees being retained. Bird and bat boxes are also being introduced along the perimeter of the building.
To promote clean travel and reduce air pollution, electrical vehicle charging points are being installed, with a total of 10 connections available as well as providing ample bicycle storage to encourage residents to use sustainable modes of transport.
As part of the Campkin Road development, an area of protected open space to the east of the site will be retained with other open spaces created within the site, including private gardens for the houses, a communal garden together with the provision of play equipment to the north-western part of the site.
Campkin Road has well-located open spaces near to the site including, Nun’s Way Park and Arbury Town Park, as well as excellent transport links to the city centre. The development benefits from its close proximity to Cambridge’s network of cycle lanes and offers residents ample space for parking.