What will Cambridge look like in 2041? Plan to transform the city with thousands of houses revealed

Thousands of new homes and jobs are expected to be delivered to Cambridge over the next two decades, according to the council’s new plans.

The joint plan, called the Greater Cambridge Local Plan between Cambridge City Council and the South Cambridgeshire District Council, aims to define how the Greater Cambridge area will develop over the next 20 years.

The plan’s first proposals are currently undergoing a six-week public consultation, during which people can give their opinion on what has been established so far.

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From 2020 to 2041, 58,500 jobs and 44,400 housing units are expected to be delivered across the country, with approximately 2,111 housing units to be built per year, to meet anticipated housing needs.

There are 19 new sites that have been proposed in the Greater Cambridge area for housing and commercial space, alongside sites already adopted in the 2018 local plans.

At this point, these new sites are only proposals and do not yet have “planning status”, which they will not have until the adoption of the new local plan, and the councils have stated that they are may not be before 2024 or 2025.

The councils plan to ‘lead development’ where it is supposed to have the least impact on the climate, where active and public transport is the ‘natural choice’, where green infrastructure can be provided alongside new development, and where jobs, services and facilities can be located near where people live.

The first proposals document sets out the plan for the entire Greater Cambridge area. Here is an overview of some of the proposals for the future of the city of Cambridge.

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North East Cambridge – 8,350 houses

It is proposed to create a new part of the city in the north-east of Cambridge, just south of the A14.

The overall development is expected to provide 8,350 new homes and 15,000 new jobs.

Of the total number of dwellings, 3,900 are expected to be built by 2041, and 4,450 are expected to be built after 2041.

The plan also states that “necessary infrastructure” would also be built to support development, including new schools, community and cultural facilities, open spaces, as well as new “improved” pedestrian and cycling links.

Site planned for the development of north-east Cambridge.

The first proposal document read: “This site is one of the last remaining significant brownfield sites in the city, where a complete redevelopment will support new homes and jobs as part of a new part of the city. .

“We want North East Cambridge to be a new inclusive, pedestrianized, low-carbon neighborhood with a vibrant mix of homes, workplaces, services and social spaces, fully integrated with surrounding neighborhoods. “

In order for development to proceed, the sewage treatment works would have to be moved. The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority, together with City Council, Anglian Water and other partners were told by central government in 2019 that they had secured £ 227million from the Housing Infrastructure Fund to relocate the site.

Cambridge East – 7,000 homes

This proposed development at the current Cambridge International Airport includes both land protected by the 2018 local plans and newly allocated land.

It is proposed for around 7,000 homes and 9,000 jobs, with around 2,900 homes to be built by 2041.

Cambridge East development project at Cambridge International Airport.
Cambridge East development project at Cambridge International Airport.

A “mix of job uses” is also proposed, comprising offices, workshops and a new center for commercial, cultural and other uses, as well as “necessary support” infrastructure, including primary and secondary schools. .

The proposed redevelopment of the site is dependent on Marshall’s “continuing evidence” to demonstrate that airport use will cease, and “airport uses” will be “successfully relocated”, which is currently planned for 2030. .

Cambridge City Council and South Cambridgeshire District Council have set the vision and goals for the future of the Greater Cambridge area.


“We want Greater Cambridge to be a place where a sharp decrease in our climate impacts is accompanied by a sharp increase in the quality of daily life in all our communities.

“New developments must minimize carbon emissions and dependence on private cars; creating thriving neighborhoods with the variety of jobs and housing we need; increase nature, wildlife and green spaces; and safeguard our heritage and our unique landscapes.

“Our plan is inspired by what is unique in our region and takes the bold new approaches that will help us achieve this vision. “

The goals:

Climate change: Help Greater Cambridge move to net zero carbon by 2050, ensuring development is located in places that help limit carbon emissions, and is designed to the highest standards of use energy and water, and is resilient to current and future climate risks.

Biodiversity and green spaces: Increase and improve our network of habitats for wildlife and green spaces for people, ensuring that development leaves the natural environment better than before.

Well-being and social inclusion: Help the people of Greater Cambridge lead healthier and happier lives, making sure everyone benefits from the development of new homes and jobs.

Great places: Maintain the uniqueness of Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire, and complement it with beautiful and distinctive development, creating a place people want to live, work and play.

Works: Foster a thriving, mixed economy in Greater Cambridge that includes a wide range of jobs, while maintaining our region’s global reputation for innovation.

Houses: Plan enough housing to meet our needs, including significant amounts of affordable rental and purchase housing, and different types of housing suited to our diverse communities.

Infrastructure: Map of transport, water, energy and digital networks; and health, educational and cultural facilities; in the right places and built at the right time to serve our growing communities.

Garages between 20 St. Matthews Street and Blue Moon Public House – 12 houses

This site has been identified as having a capacity of approximately 12 dwellings, with the aim of “enhancing the character” of the site.

Garages between 20 St. Matthews Street and Blue Moon Public House.
Garages between 20 St. Matthews Street and Blue Moon Public House.

The first proposals state that any redevelopment should retain the existing mature tree and that the design should take into account the proximity to the Blue Moon pub.

Land south of Coldham’s Lane – employment

This nine-hectare site has been proposed as suitable for commercial development, such as the construction merchant sales and storage facilities, which are currently located on land elsewhere in the city.

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New areas of opportunity

The first proposals highlight a number of “opportunity zones” within the city that could be “improved”.

As areas of opportunity, details of development levels are not included.

Newmarket Road Retail Park and Beehive Center

The first proposals identify these two commercial sites as potential new areas of opportunity, describing them as “not making very good use of a large area of ​​land in the heart of Cambridge”.

The plans state, “With changes in retail and increased online shopping, coupled with the themes of the Local Plan to Tackle Climate Change and Create Great Places, these sites have the potential to provide an opportunity. important to reimagine this area close to the heart of Cambridge.

“These opportunities can be further explored as the plan progresses, including taking into account emerging evidence regarding future retail needs to inform the next stage of the draft plan.”

Abbey stadium

Abbey Stadium on Newmarket Road, home to Cambridge United Football Club, is also touted as a potential opportunity area.

The first proposals state that the club is “eager” to improve its facilities and increase its visibility as a commercial sports enterprise.

Abbey Stadium, home of Cambridge United Football Club.
Abbey Stadium, home of Cambridge United Football Club.

The document states: “It could achieve this goal either by staying put and securing the development on site next to an improved stadium, or by moving elsewhere and redeveloping the existing site for new homes.”

“The draft plan will provide direction for this site for both possibilities.”

Shire Hall and Castle Park

Following the move of Cambridgeshire County Council to its new offices in Alconbury, Shire Hall and the adjacent Castle Mound grounds have been identified as offering a potential opportunity for “appropriate new uses for these important heritage assets”.

Shire Hall, Cambridge.
Shire Hall, Cambridge.

The draft plan will take into account the planning guidelines for the site.

What happens next?

The consultation on the first proposals opened on Monday November 1 and will continue until Monday December 13 at 5 p.m.

A number of in-person and online events will be held for people to ask questions about the plans. More details can be found on the Greater Cambridge Planning website.

Public comments on current proposals will be used by boards as the plans progress.

Comments on the plans can be submitted to the Boards via the Greater Cambridge Planning website here.

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