Plans have been approved for the delivery of a mixed-use development village on a site at Bourn Airfield, five miles west of Cambridge. The plans were approved on February 19, and the development is set to deliver 3500 homes, with a 40 per cent affordable allocation, which in turn will account for 10 per cent of the Council’s affordable requirements.

The development, designed by Barton Willmore, and to be delivered by Countryside working alongside Turley and Rummey Design Associates Limited, will also provide places for employment opportunities, and seeks to provide up to 500 jobs for local residents. The former RAF base, which was closed in 1948, will be transformed into sustainable development, bringing new schools, places to work, and community hubs, and aims to provide opportunities for both the village itself and its surrounding areas.

Keeping in tune with the history of the site, aptly named ‘Runway Park’ will form part of the 242 acres of open space incorporated into the development, which will account for approximately 45% of the site. These spaces also incorporate sports fields, woodland and play areas, as well as cycle paths and footpaths to allow for ease of access and sustainable travel within the community.

Countryside’s group planning director Andrew Taylor said “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 are looking forward to continuing to work with the council and our partners to build the first homes in the near future.”

Dominic Scott, partner of Barton Willmore said “This new community will provide a comprehensive mix of much-needed housing in the area, whilst its location benefits from the employment and cultural assets of Cambridge, and the leisure and amenity of the South Cambridgeshire countryside. The masterplan is based on a truly holistic approach, with heritage and landscape assets at the heart of the new settlement, delivering health and wellbeing benefits to both future residents and the existing community. Approximately 45 per cent of the site lends itself to open space and recreation and we have delivered a mixed-use village centre with a focus on sustainable transport including a rapid transit hub (via the Cambourne to Cambridge Busway) and a focus on walking and cycling routes. A truly collaborative effort working with Countryside Properties, consultants, the council and local stakeholders, a project for our design team here to be immensely proud of, and a new healthy and sustainable community for the East of England. A great result!”

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.”

It is hoped that the village will also benefit from surrounding areas, such as the development of the Bourn Quarter employment area, along with other projects such as the Cambourne to Cambridge Busway and East West Rail, which both hope to create a transport hub in nearby Cambourne, a walking distance away from the site, whilst also allowing residents to utilise the Oxford-Cambridge Arc.

The plan is to have the first new homes built by 2023.

Image Source: Barton Willmore

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