Call to arms for buy­ers in Hunt­ing­don

The Daily Telegraph - Property - - Sporting Life -

Homes go on sale in Bri­tain’s largest res­i­den­tial scheme, writes

The first homes have gone on sale to­day in the largest res­i­den­tial de­vel­op­ment un­der con­struc­tion in Bri­tain. With a perime­ter of 18km, Al­con­bury Weald, built around the site of an old, cold-war RAF base, will de­liver nearly 7,000 homes when it is fi­nally com­pleted.

Larger than a gar­den vil­lage but smaller than a new town, the £1.5bn scheme, on the out­skirts of Hunt­ing­don in Cam­bridgeshir­e, has been hailed as an ur­ban ex­ten­sion. It will in­clude a Govern­ment-backed en­ter­prise zone, two pri­mary schools, a sec­ondary school, a health cen­tre, 700 acres of green space and a cricket pitch.

The land owner and de­vel­oper, Ur­ban & Civic, who bought the brown­field site from the Min­istry of the De­fence and started build­ing on it in 2015, also plans to add a rail­way sta­tion on the aban­doned line that runs across the 1,425 acre site, to shut­tle com­muters into Hunt­ing­don, Cam­bridge and on to Lon­don.

The128 homes in phase one will be avail­able to buy to­day and the first pri­mary school will open in Septem­ber.

Ur­ban & Civic, which spe­cialises in re­gional re­gen­er­a­tion, has teamed up with lo­cal house­builder, Hop­kins Homes to build the prop­er­ties which will range in size from two-bed­room coach houses up to large, fivebed­room, de­tached, fam­ily homes.

Such schemes go some­way to ad­dress­ing the hous­ing sup­ply cri­sis in ar­eas such as Cam­bridgeshir­e. Home­own­ers in the city – famed for its bur­goen­ing sci­ence and biotech in­dus­tries – have seen a 44.7 per cent rise in val­ues since the 2007, tak­ing the av­er­age price to £388,400 ac­cord­ing to Home­track. Prices on the Al­con­bury scheme will range from £200,000 to £350,000.

The site it­self should gen­er­ate job opp­por­tu­ni­ties. The en­ter­prise park and cam­pus for start-up busi­nesses has 3.1m sq ft of com­mer­cial space avail­able to rent to com­pa­nies who will be ex­empt from busi­ness rates.

Robin But­ler, the chief ex­ec­u­tive of Ur­ban & Civic, who runs the com­pany with his long stand­ing busi­ness part­ner, Nigel Hugill, says: “We find our­selves at the epi cen­tre of the Govern­ment and eco­nomic agenda on this project, and in or­der to meet hous­ing needs in Bri­tain we need to spread the load and build in log­i­cal places.” The com­pany is also plan­ning a set­tle­ment in Rugby.

Map: the aerial plan, left, and artist im­pres­sion, above

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