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Report on Proposed Development - East Barnwell

Meeting: 22/09/2022 - Housing Scrutiny Committee (Item 46)

46 Report on Proposed Development - East Barnwell pdf icon PDF 1012 KB

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Matter for Decision

Cambridgeshire County Council and Cambridge City Council have developed proposals to work together with the Cambridge Investment Partnership (CIP) to deliver a new community centre, library and pre-school facility in the context of a regeneration scheme across three sites owned by the two Councils.


Decision of Executive Councillors


The Executive Councillor for Housing:

i.               Noted the completion of the work on the Framework for Change document and the officer’s report.

ii.             Granted delegated authority to the Strategic Director in consultation with the Executive Councillor for Housing to enter into development/relevant agreements and finalise and approve terms with Cambridge Investment Partnership (CIP) and Cambridgeshire County Council, to deliver the proposed scheme. 

The purpose of the Development Agreements will be:

iii.            To enable land owned by Cambridge City Council HRA (as shown in Appendix 2) to be transferred to CIP via a long lease for the purposes of development as set out in section 6 of the report and subject to independent valuation.

iv.           To note that upon completion of the development CIP lease would collapse (except where new houses are sold freehold) with interests to be transferred to the County Council in relation to facilities for which they will maintain overall responsibility.  

v.             That the development be brought forward by CIP to include:

a.    A new Community Centre

b.    A new library

c.    A new pre-school facility

d.    New commercial premises

e.    New publicly accessible open space

f.     New high quality sustainable housing including affordable housing

vi.           That the agreement will provide for:

a.    A programme

b.    Phasing of development

c.    Financial contributions by the parties

d.    Other matters as required to give effect to the agreement

vii.          Granted delegated authority to the Strategic Director, in consultation with the Head of Property Services and Head of Legal Services, acting on behalf of the Council as the landowner to finalise and approve the terms of any disposal, leases, easements, agreements and contracts that may be required to deliver the scheme.  This may include any planning obligations under section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 which is required by the Council in its capacity as the local planning authority pursuant to the planning application or applications for the development of the sites, S278 highway agreements and other similar agreements required to be entered into.

viii.        Noted that consultations are in progress to clarify community needs which can be met within the facilities to be provided on the land jointly owned by the two Councils and to identify needs which cannot be met on these sites.


Following the meeting the Executive Councillor for Finance, Resources and Transformation watched the recording of the meeting as they were not able to be present in person and made the following decisions:  

i.               Agreed to enable land owned by Cambridge City Council General Fund (as shown in Appendix 2 of the officer’s report) to be transferred to CIP via a long lease for the purposes of development as set out in section 6 of the officer’s report and subject to independent valuation, and specifically:

ii.             Approved the use of the Bowls Club site (See plan at Appendix 2 of the officer’s report) to provide a mixed-use development including but not limited to the community centre, the library and the pre-school facility.

iii.            Approved the redevelopment of the overflow car park at the Abbey Leisure Centre (ref Appendix 4 of the officer’s report) to re-provide the Bowls Green (ref Appendix 4 of the officer’s report) and the grant a new lease to the bowls club on terms to be agreed to enable the vacation of the existing bowls club.


Reason for the Decision

As set out in the Officer’s report.


Any Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

Not applicable.


Scrutiny Considerations

The Committee received a report from the Senior Housing Development Manager.


The Senior Housing Development Manager and the Director of Enterprise and Sustainable Development said the following in response to Members’ questions:

i.               The report only contained decisions regarding the East Barnwell site on Newmarket Road. An update on Ekin Road had been included in the report for information only as part of a wider update.

ii.             Confirmed there was a requirement to re-provide open space as part of the East Barnwell redeveloped and this included: a sports club, a bowls facility, a tennis court and a multi-use games area and grassed area.  Consideration was being given to where these facilities could be re-provided. Initial conversations had taken place about the Bowls Club being located with the Abbey Leisure Centre.

iii.            Wanted to create a framework for discussions between the City Council and the County Council to take place.

iv.           Was considering what energy standards could be achieved for the proposed housing and this would be reported back in a future report. Would be working towards BREAAM excellent for the community facility.

v.             Work on the East Barnwell redevelopment had been going on for 15 years.  Residents of Abbey ward had wanted the redevelopment of the site for a long period of time. There was no plan to remove the community centre, it was just going to be re-positioned. Acknowledged that there was still work to be undertaken.  Noted a similar report was being taken by the County Council to their relevant Committee on 30 September 2022.


Diane Best, Leaseholder Representative encouraged Ekin Road residents to contact the Tenant and Leaseholder Representatives to discuss their concerns.


Councillor Porrer proposed and Councillor Lee seconded a request to defer the decisions contained in the Officer’s report pending more information being provided about accessible open space. The proposal was lost by 2 votes in favour to 6 against with one abstention.


The Committee resolved by 6 votes to 0 endorse the recommendations.


The Executive Councillor approved the recommendations.


Conflicts of Interest Declared by the Executive Councillor (and any Dispensations Granted)

No conflicts of interest were declared by the Executive Councillor.