Urban&Civic has been selected by the Ministry of Defence (MOD), via the Defence Infrastructure Organisation, as development manager for the former RAF barracks at Waterbeach on the outskirts of Cambridge.
The site comprises 716 acres of land designated as “previously used” or “brownfield” which had been in continuous military occupation for over 70 years.
Waterbeach Barracks lies within the administrative area of the South Cambridgeshire District Council, which is in the process of preparing a new local plan to cover the period 2011 to 2031. The proposed local plan allocates the barracks, together with adjoining farmland to the north and east, as a new settlement.
Initial masterplanning by Fletcher Priest, the same team that worked on the Olympic Village, accommodates a new sustainable community providing approximately 6,500 additional homes entirely on MOD holdings.
The development management arrangement enables Urban&Civic to fund and construct necessary post planning infrastructure; manage the disposal of market housing plots to house builders whilst earning a percentage retention on realised land uplifts after full cost recovery; and build 35 per cent of new units on its own account.
Urban & Civic chairman Nigel Hugill says: "Waterbeach represents properly joined-up national thinking. This involves public brownfield land being released by a major government ministry for value enhancing development that anticipates and facilitates change in one of the most innovative and creative locations in the UK, whilst returning substantial proceeds to the taxpayer in the process."
Urban&Civic intends to follow the model successfully implemented on the Stratford Rail Lands (a scheme previously created by the current Urban&Civic team), with a clear focus on Private Rental Sector housing to maximise early absorption and establish a viable residential community.
The current expectation is for an outline planning application, in similar form to those secured recently by Urban & Civic at Alconbury and Rugby, to be submitted within 24 months.