The first new homes at the former Waterbeach barracks and airfield site in Cambridgeshire have taken a big step forward after master developer Urban&Civic confirmed that Stonebond Properties has been selected as the development partner for the first gateway parcel.
Caption: The first phase of the Waterbeach development, which will begin north of the 23-acre lake
The deal was agreed by Bidwells and Savills on behalf of Urban&Civic, which is delivering the scheme for the Defence Infrastructure Organisation.
Stonebond Properties has secured 4.3 acres of land for the gateway parcel which will deliver around 88 homes of the 1,600 planned for Phase One, 28 of which will be for affordable housing. The first phase also includes a primary school, retail space, community buildings, up to 11 acres of grassland, a 23-acre lake, large areas of woodland and more than 25 play areas.
Urban&Civic secured outline planning permission for a total of 6,500 homes and associated facilities on the 716-acre site – in the western half of the larger Waterbeach new town development – in 2019.
Alex Cox, Partner in Bidwells residential development team, advised on the sale. He said: “In Stonebond Properties we have selected a developer who not only deeply understands the local market but have also bought into Urban&Civic’s exciting vision for Waterbeach.
“They demonstrated their appetite for ensuring that Waterbeach’s first new homes will meet the development’s agreed design code and sets a high design standard for years to come. The gateway parcel is incredibly important because it sets the tone for the development and posts a benchmark for others to follow over the next 20-30 years.”
Richard Janes, who advised on the sale and leads the development team at Savills Cambridge, said: “Supported by a robust housing market there continues to be a strong appetite for land in the East of England – especially in well-connected areas such as Cambridgeshire which link up so well with the rest of the UK.
“This particular development will provide much-needed new homes for the local community and will play a significant part in helping the wider region to meet its longer-term housing needs as identified by the government.
Along with the 6,500 homes – at least 1,950 of which will be affordable – Urban&Civic also has permission to build five schools along with commercial, retail, leisure and community facilities including a health centre and library. More than 40 per cent of the scheme will be open space and recreation areas.
The master developer will also fund £141m of new facilities and transport upgrades, including improving junctions along the A10 and introducing traffic calming measures in neighbouring villages.
A further £20m will be used for early community facilities, including the first primary school, refurbished sports hall, preliminary library and health facilities, equipped play areas, green gym and open spaces with wider parkland and woodland setting, and water sports lakeside cafes and nature walks around the 23-acre lake.
Caroline Foster, senior development manager, Urban&Civic, said: “We’re delighted to have our first partner in place who will now be able to deliver high quality, much needed new homes for the area. Our design code has set the bar extremely high and we look forward to seeing the homes come forward alongside the work we are doing to create the connections, play and green spaces around it, and our work with the County Council to bring forward the first Primary School. Stonebond’s commitment to our strong sustainability vision for Waterbeach also means we are starting as we mean to go on, in crafting not only an exciting but an exemplar place to live.”