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Report on Redevelopment Scheme at East Barnwell

26/01/2024 - Report on Redevelopment Scheme at East Barnwell

Matter for Decision

Following the completion of the report ‘East Barnwell Development & Regeneration Project: Masterplan for East Barnwell’ work has continued in conjunction with the County Council and the Cambridge Investment Partnership (CIP) to bring forward a scheme to provide for the regeneration of the centre of Barnwell to include:

·       A community centre

·       A library

·       A pre-school facility

·       Commercial premises

·       Open space

·       High quality sustainable housing including affordable housing


Decision of Executive Councillor for Housing and Homelessness

      i.          Approved that a scheme be brought forward for Sites 1 and 2 and included in the Housing Capital Programme, with the latest capital budget being £50,306,000 to cover all site assembly, construction costs, professional fees and further associated fees, to deliver a 100% affordable housing scheme which meets the identified need in Cambridge City. Budget will be drawn down from the sum already ear-marked and approved for investment in new homes.

     ii.          Authorised the Assistant Director in consultation with the Executive Councillor for Housing to approve variations to the scheme including the number of units and mix of property types, sizes and tenure as outlined in this report.

   iii.          Approved that delegated authority be given to the Executive Councillor for Housing in conjunction with the Assistant Director to enable Sites 1 and 2 to be developed through Cambridge Investment Partnership (CIP) subject to a value for money assessment to be carried out on behalf of the Council.

   iv.          Delegated authority to the Assistant Director to commence Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) proceedings on leasehold properties to be demolished to enable the development, should these be required.

    v.          Delegated authority to the Assistant Director to serve initial Demolition Notices under the Housing Act 1985.

   vi.          Delegated authority to the Head of Housing to approve a local lettings plan for the proposed development on Sites 1 and 2.

Decision of Executive Councillor for Finance and Resources


 vii.          Approved that within the scheme to be brought forward for Sites 1 and 2 the following community facilities should be provided:

a.    A community centre.

b.    A library.

c.    A pre-school facility.

d.    A bowling green and pavilion (at the Abbey Leisure Complex).

e.    An extended Multi-Use Games Area to include provision for tennis (at the Abbey Leisure Complex).

f.      Addition play facilities at Peverel Road Recreation Ground.

viii.          Noted that the budget for the community facilities of £4,169,072 has been recommended to Council through the General Fund Medium Term Financial Strategy process (this being the gross cost of the community facilities; note that off-setting financial contributions were forecast at £704,000 which create an estimated net cost of £3,465,072; this did not take into account the value of the development of Site 3).

   ix.          Authorised the Assistant Director in consultation with the Executive Councillor to agree the terms of an agreement with the County Council and to enter into that agreement for:

a.    the transfer of Site 3.

b.    the granting of a long lease on the proposed library and pre-school facility at a peppercorn but subject to a service charge.

c.    the granting of a license to landscape the Highways Land.

d.    the recognition by the County Council of the City Council’s beneficial ownership of the existing library site.

    x.          Authorised the Assistant Director in consultation with the Executive Councillor to arrange for the development of a market led scheme on Site 3 by the Cambridge Investment Partnership (CIP).


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 Development Manager, Housing Development Agency.


The Senior Development Manager said the following in response to Members’ questions:

      i.          The proposals for site 3 were not as advanced as those for site 1 and 2 but site 3 could possibly be used for development of around 9 houses.

     ii.          If the Homes England grant funding was not forthcoming, then the development would need to be reassessed. Noted councillors’ comment that this should be included on the risk register. Pre-application discussions had taken place with the Planning Department; was cautious about the level of risk.

   iii.          Noted comments made about single aspect homes. The site had a number of constraints and every effort was being made to reduce the number of single aspect homes.

   iv.          Other sites had followed the council’s rent policy for affordable homes which was 60% of medium market rents, this site was different to that.  Was delivering 40% affordable housing at social rent; the balance would be at 80% medium market rents. Wanted to support low-income households who were not in receipt of benefits and therefore needed to have properties available at lower social rents. 

    v.          To calculate biodiversity net gain, the biodiversity level would be assessed now and then officers would look to see what could be delivered on the site. There would be sustainable urban drainage systems (SUDS) and rain gardens. Much consideration had been given to the layout of the public open space which was currently largely grass and a lot was currently closed off. Wanted to try and retain a number of the key trees. There was also an opportunity to plant more hedgerows.

   vi.          Discussions had taken place with Abbey People regarding the Food Hub, there was still plenty of time to follow this up as it would follow the delivery of the community centre on site 1. Officers in the Community Services Team were also working with Abbey People regarding the Food Hub business model.

 vii.          Any variation to the delivery of 100% affordable housing on the site would need to come back to Housing Scrutiny Committee for approval.

viii.          Commercial units were being provided within phase 1 of the development; various options for these units was being considered.


The Committee unanimously resolved to endorse the recommendations.


The Executive Councillor for Housing and Homelessness approved recommendations i - vi and the Executive Councillor for Finance and Resources approved recommendations vii - x.


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

No conflicts of interest were declared by the Executive Councillor.