Thakeham has announced its vision to create the UK’s first zero-carbon community in South West Cambridgeshire.

The vision builds on an infrastructure-led plan comprising of a new town alongside a series of connecting villages. Thakeham aim to create a total of 25’000 zero-carbon homes in order to facilitate future sustainable growth throughout Cambridgeshire. The commitment also targets a net biodiversity gain of at least 20%.

Areas that Thakeham has identified for future development include Barrington, Bassingbourn cum Kneesworth, Foxton, Meldreth, Orwell, Shepreth, Whaddon and Wimpole.

Up to 40% (10’000) of the proposed homes would also be affordable. Thakeham has set this target in order to ease pressure on first-time buyers and keyworkers, whilst also allowing older generations to downsize and remain in their local communities.

The proposals also aim to attract regional and national investment into South West Cambridgeshire. With the proposals targeting areas surrounding the MedTech Oxford-Cambridge Arc, Thakeham hopes to facilitate an influx of both skilled labour and funding into the targeted areas and create an inclusive community that can expand to meet the needs of the future.

The announcement coincides with the UN Climate Ambition Summit and follows the UK Government’s pledge to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 68% of what they were in 1990 by the end of 2030.

Rob Boughton, CEO of Thakeham, said:

“We’re delighted to reveal our vision to create the UK’s first truly sustainable new community. A zero-carbon place with green transport links, where school and work are readily accessible and community facilities are owned by the local residents.”

“As the UK’s contribution to this week’s UN Climate Ambition Summit will show, addressing the climate emergency and protecting our environment is fast becoming the number one national priority, along with ensuring that we continue to build the homes and infrastructure which are so desperately needed. Our proposals aim to provide a global blueprint for zero-carbon sustainable placemaking.”

“Thakeham are committed to working in partnership with the local community, South Cambridgeshire District Council, Cambridge City Council and other key stakeholders as our plans for South West Cambridgeshire begin to evolve.”

South West Cambridgeshire’s strong transport links to both Cambridge and London make it an ideal location for new sustainable development. These links could be further strengthened by the proposed development of a new Cambridge South Station. The Network Rail project has finished a second round of public consultation and could be completed by 2025.

The new town would attract significant investment, creating thousands of local jobs in new commercial space, along with a range of amenities including new sporting, healthcare, schools, and education facilities.

This vision will lay the foundations for a high-quality sustainable environment and outstanding quality of life, with a strong economic focus to nurture inclusive growth.

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