In our early-stage consultation we set out our initial thoughts to deliver build-to-rent homes, flexible workspace, a place for community uses and the introduction of green space for everyone to enjoy. The feedback provided from the local area has helped us to develop these principles, which we have set out below.
Public Park: Feedback from the first consultation highlighted local people’s desire to see large, open green spaces, offering a place to meet and for the holding of community events and activities. Providing a new public park for the community has therefore been a key element of our design approach: responding to the community need and opening up the site for all to enjoy.

We believe our proposal will deliver accessible, inclusive open space. The public park will offer generous, welcoming, luscious and undulating green space. We want to give back green, public, open space to local people, as a long-term tangible community benefit. The park will be accessible via a number of entrances served by improved pedestrian routes in line with local feedback.

Landscaping for the open spaces will include the establishment of an extensive tree canopy "partly the result of planting a total of approximately 100 new mature and semi-mature trees on a site which currently has limited greenery, interconnected paths throughout the site" and a varied planting design incorporating fruit trees and other edible plants. We expect that more than half of the total site area will be public open space.
Community: A people-focused place is proposed, designed to be inclusive and complement the wider community. Flexible and creative community amenities could be used by local groups, artists and small local businesses. The development will prioritise local employment and training opportunities, support independent local businesses, community groups and local residents. This positive social impact will be measured through our Social Value framework and is a key focus for First Base and Railpen.
Active travel: We understand how important cycling is to the local community in Cambridge, and we want to encourage cyclists to visit the site. Feedback from the first consultation demonstrated just how strong people’s passion for cycling is within the city. As a result, we will be encouraging this form of travel as the primary method for the scheme. We are looking to provide around 185 residential cycle spaces, alongside 360 commercial cycle spaces and 55 visitor spaces.

Generous provision for cyclists, including Sheffield cycle stands, secure bike storage and cycle lanes will be incorporated into the scheme design, including charging facilities for e-bikes and parking for cargo bikes. Shower, changing and locker facilities will be offered within the office buildings for those cycling to work. The scheme will be seamlessly integrated with the forthcoming Chisholm Trail in order to provide fast, sustainable, active means of accessing Cambridge station and Cambridge North.
Flexible workspace: There is an identified need for office provision throughout the city, which meets a growing demand from local businesses and start-ups. Around 120,000 sq ft GIA of workspace will sit comfortably within the Mill Road area, offering a more sustainable and community-focused environment, in comparison with nearby existing office buildings.

There will be two distinctive commercial office buildings, both of which will reflect their location adjacent and parallel to the railway with an ‘industrial’ design aesthetic. Both plots will offer high quality spaces that are tech-enabled and designed with health and wellbeing in mind. In line with our commitment to sustainability, both buildings will exceed conventional environmental standards.

These two buildings will connect at ground floor level but will be different in their respective designs and intended to serve different types of businesses. ‘Studio South’ will be aimed predominantly at established businesses, while ‘Studio North’ will be more suited to fast growing businesses with flexible spaces to collaborate across all floors of the building.
Build-to-rent homes: This mixed-use site for the people of Cambridge will deliver approximately 134 homes for rent, with a mixture of sizes to suit different needs. Affordable homes will be provided and will be fairly distributed across the site, enjoying the same access, amenities, security and standards as market-rent homes.
These homes will be split across four ‘character’ types:
  • The Mews: The Mews houses will have a central entrance from the park. The majority of the homes will have views from at least two sides of the property.
  • The Terrace: These homes will face onto Devonshire Road, protected from the street by tree canopies, and set back at the second floor.
  • The Townhouses: These houses are ideal for families and those seeking more space over several levels.
  • Warehouse apartments: These will be stepped back on the southern edge.
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 not only the buildings, but also the public park. These new facilities will embrace the local community spaces and complement the existing offer along Devonshire and Mill Roads, and the surrounding area.
Sustainability and wellbeing remain a key part of our proposals.
Read more about this here.

Whilst these proposals have been shaped by feedback from the local community, we continue to seek views on the plans shown here and how they can be further refined as we shape this planning application for the site.

Following this consultation and the incorporation of further feedback, we will be looking to submit our planning application to Cambridge City Council by late spring/early summer.
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