When do you plan to submit a planning application for your proposals?

We held our initial consultation in December of last year, seeking feedback on what the local community wanted to see on the site. We have now acted on that feedback and incorporated it into the designs. We continue to engage with local residents and businesses on our proposals so that we can work together to produce a development which Cambridge can be proud of.

We hope to be able to submit a planning application to the City Council in the spring.

Are the proposed residential units intended for local people or will they be aimed at those who live outside Cambridge?

We are building homes that are available for everyone to live in, but we very much hope that the DevonshireGardens development will attract people already living in Cambridge and the surrounding area.

All of these homes will remain under the long-term ownership of Railpen as a professional landlord. There will be comprehensive maintenance, security and upkeep of the buildings.

Access to green space was very popular in the last consultation. Can you share any further detail?

Feedback from the first consultation highlighted the desire from the local community to see large, open green spaces where people can meet and community events held. This has been a focus of our design, responding to the community need and opening to site for all to enjoy.

We will deliver generous and welcoming new public green spaces with an open park forming the heart of the scheme. The space will be flexible, able to host community events and activities.  We want to give back public, open space to the community and this central green park will be accessible from a number of entrances, improving pedestrian routes in line with local feedback.

Landscaping for this space will include an extensive tree canopy, interconnected paths throughout the site, a varied planting design and edible landscapes, responding to requests for more trees, and open, grassy areas. We expect that 55% of the total site area will be open space for all to enjoy.

The removal of the fence around the existing site will open up the street, and the set back nature of the residential along Devonshire Road will increase the width of the pavement and allow more space for pedestrians.

Will there be affordable housing throughout the site?

In line with national guidance, at least 20% of the homes will be affordable and rent levels will be at least 20% below local market rents. This is consistent with guidance contained within the Council’s emerging build-to-rent policy.

When do you envisage these proposals will be built?

Following this consultation, we will be looking to submit a planning application to Cambridge City Council. There will then be a period of time before our proposals are heard and determined. Dependent on the outcome, we would hope that our proposals could be delivered in the next few years.

We remain committed to working with the local community and welcome feedback on the proposals shown here today, as we continue to progress our designs.

What is ‘build-to-rent’?

Build-to-rent is a relatively new concept in the UK and particularly to Cambridge. Homes delivered using this approach are built to be rented rather than sold. They are managed by a single professional landlord, offering a high level of standards and security of tenure, including quality living spaces for families or individual occupiers, with access to internal and external shared communal facilities.

They are homes to be lived in, rather than properties to purchase as investments, supporting our commitment to creating a community and complementing the existing character of the local area.

What are the next steps for your proposals?

We held our first phase of consultation at the end of 2020, to understand the views and opinions of local residents and the community. We have taken onboard all of the feedback shared and are now presenting the evolved designs. We continue to seek feedback on the proposals before we submit a planning application to the local authority in the coming months.

How sustainable will your proposals be?

We will be replacing a private builder’s yard with new homes, offices and publicly accessible green open space, delivering significant environmental improvements to Devonshire Road. There will be reduced noise and improved air quality.

Due to the sustainable, central location of the site and its proximity to Mill Road, Cambridge city centre and the railway station, our proposals aim to be largely car-free. We will be supporting the Chisholm Trail, a new walking and cycling route which will connect Cambridge’s two rail stations and the north and south sections of the Busway cycleway.

In addition, there will be generous provision for cyclists, with parking, both outside for the visiting public and secure facilities within the buildings for tenants, guests and residents. This includes increased cycle storage provision with flexibility to store cargo bikes and e-bikes, as well as charging facilities.

The development will be all electric, powered by a combination of extensive, roof-level solar panels and an increasingly decarbonised grid. Our ‘mixed-use’ model also enables improve efficiency through shared facilities and improved building performance, often resulting in up to 90 per cent lower running costs than individual homes.

We are members of the UK Green Building Council and Cambridge Clean Tech and we will be engaging with local groups including Cambridge Carbon Footprint and Cambridge Climate Emergency to share ideas, encourage dialogue and promote best practice to businesses, organisations and the local community.

Will there be space for pedestrians and cyclists within your development?

Absolutely. We will be supporting and integrating the Chisolm Trail across our site, including new walking and cycling routes. There will be generous provision for cyclists, with parking, both outside for the visiting public and secure facilities within the buildings for tenants, guests and residents. This includes increased cycle storage provision with flexibility to store cargo bikes and e-bikes as well as charging facilities.

Space for pedestrians, not only within the site but also along Devonshire Road, will be increased with the set back residential along Devonshire Road, naturally widening the pavement, in line with feedback from the first exhibition

How tall will your proposals be?

The height of buildings across the site will range from 3 – 6 storeys, although the tallest elements will be set back from the road. Please see the Proposals for some further detail on the heights across the site.

Please do leave your feedback
Leave feedback