Countryside gets green light for mixed-use community at Bourn Airfield

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Countryside announces that South Cambridgeshire District Council has today (19 February) approved plans to deliver a mixed-use community on an allocated site at Bourn Airfield, 5 miles west of Cambridge.

Set to deliver 3,500 homes including 40% affordable housing alongside open spaces and community facilities, the scheme will provide significant community and economic benefits, leading to the creation of up to 500 jobs. With the Outline Planning Permission granted, Countryside will now submit reserved matters applications with the hope of building the first of the new homes by 2023.

Andrew Taylor, Group Planning Director, Countryside commented:

“Having worked with the Council, Parish Councils and residents for nearly a decade, we are delighted the Planning Committee has decided to grant our sustainable village planning permission.

“We have always sought to work cooperatively with our partners, and this has allowed our scheme to evolve over time, ensuring it works not only for the residents who will be moving into the new village, but also for those in the surrounding area.

“Our community will be a major boost to affordable housing in South Cambridgeshire, delivering 40% on site and helping to deliver 10% of the Council’s required number of affordable housing as set out in their Local Plan. Coupled with employment opportunities and surrounding transport links which will be developed in the near future, our community will be an important boost to individuals in the local area, allowing people to continue to live and work nearby.

“We are looking forward to continuing to work with the Council and our partners to build the first homes in the near future.”

Deputy Leader of South Cambridgeshire District Council and Lead Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning and Transport, Cllr Aidan Van de Weyer, said:

“These plans have come forward over the course of several years and the Bourn Airfield scheme is a long-term, planned development that is part of our 2018 Local Plan. As a Council we have just adopted our first Doubling Nature Strategy, so I’m pleased to see that there is a real focus on nature for this site, with woodlands, wildlife habitat areas, grassland, allotments, community orchards and open space all included.

“We look forward to continuing to work with Countryside to bring forward plans that are sensitive to the local area and provided much-needed new housing, close to where people work.”

Closed in 1948, Countryside will be transforming the former RAF runway into a sustainable community with new schools, community hubs and office space which will support the village and its inhabitants as well as bringing new opportunities to the surrounding area. Drawing on the site’s heritage, the development of a ‘Runway park’ pays tribute to the area’s important past.  Unfolding over 262 acres, approximately 45% of the scheme will comprise of open spaces, such as sports fields, play areas and carefully designed woodland and fields to promote biodiversity, alongside additional cycle and footpaths designed to allow sustainable travel to become a key feature of the community.

The Bourn Airfield village will benefit from nearby areas of employment, including the recently approved Bourn Quarter employment area which borders the site as well as upcoming local infrastructure projects such as the ‘Cambourne to Cambridge Busway’ and East-West Rail – both of which are looking to create a combined transport hub in nearby Cambourne within walking distance from Bourn Airfield. The creation of the sustainable transport links will mean local residents have access to travel across the Oxford-Cambridge Arc, a key driver for economic growth in the area.

Countryside, the UK’s leading mixed-tenure developer, is committed to building places people love, not just developments. Working with the local community, this approval represents nine years of collaboration between Countryside, local residents and the Council to ensure a high-quality development on land which has been identified in the adopted Local Plan. This cooperative effort has allowed Countryside to focus on designing a green, energy efficient development which draws on local opportunities to create somewhere people want to live, work and relax.

When complete, the Bourn Airfield village will comprise of:

  • 3,500 homes, 40% of which will be affordable
  • 262 acres of open space
  • Up to 4,000 sq.m of retail space (Class A1/A2/A3/A4/A5 uses)
  • Up to 1,500 sq.m of employment space (Class B1a, b and c uses)
  • Up to 4,250 sq. of community and health and fitness spaces (Class D1/D2)
  • Village centre
  • Community hubs
  • 2 Primary schools
  • 1 Secondary school
  • 1 Hotel

Whilst Cambridgeshire benefits from its high levels of economic growth, the area is also seeing some of highest increases in house prices in the country. The approval of Countryside’s application means local residents will continue to be able to live in the area.

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