New housing developments

This article was published in 2008, in Newsletter 78.

There are a lot of plans for new housing developments in the Cambridge area, all of which have an impact for cycling as they draw in more people, all of whom will need to travel – for work, for school, for shopping, and for leisure. Ensuring they have good cycling provision, and are linked to other places, particularly Cambridge, is an important part of guaranteeing that the impact of new developments is not manifested as gridlock in Cambridge.

Map showing new housing developments

Map base from CCbySA2.0 – some rights reserved

Cambridge Cycling Campaign tries to keep up with what is being proposed – not an easy task – and to comment critically on proposals at an early enough stage to have some influence on the plans – an even harder task. We would very much welcome assistance with this task. There are the following discussion groups which you can join via the website:

  • Arbury Park
  • NIAB site (new)
  • North-West Cambridge (new)
  • South Cambridgeshire (new)

The map and accompanying text summarise the size and status of most of those developments which we know about.

Arbury Park

Location: As most people will know, this is the area to the north of King’s Hedges Road.

Arbury Park: a disaster for cyclists so far
Image as described adjacent

Number of Dwellings: Billboard advertises 700 prestige homes. Multiplied by 2.5 for average number of people per household gives 1,750. The South Cambridgeshire council website gives a figure of 900 of which 270 will be ‘affordable’. Commercial buildings, a revised hotel plan and community facilities are to come.

Status: Already under construction

Issues: Crossings, cyclepaths.


Location: This will cover the site that stretches from Histon Road and the old Cambridge Road across the fields to Huntingdon Road.

Number of dwellings (David Wilson Estates): 1780 dwellings, primary school, community facilities, associated infrastructure (roads and cycleways.) A park is proposed for the centre of the development.

Status: Outline planning application to be decided. There is a separate application to South Cambridgeshire District Council for an access road to the site from Histon Road.

Issues: junctions at Histon and Huntingdon Roads are, as proposed, unfriendly to cyclists, forcing cyclists onto the pavement and there are no plans for on-road facilities on Huntingdon Road or the access road. 40 mph speed limit proposed on King’s Hedges Road going against local and national government advice.

Northwest Cambridge Area Action Plan

Location: This is land north of Madingley Road, between it and Huntingdon Road, near the Observatory and the University Farm.

Number of Dwellings: Unknown. The majority of the housing will be for University staff and students with faculty buildings and research facilities.

Status: The Area Action Plan has not been adopted yet.

Issues: The Huntingdon Road junction, which will be altered to provide a link to the NIAB development. [This is the official website for the project.] _West_Cambridge_AAP.htm

Southern Fringe

Location: Included within this area are Addenbrooke’s, Trumpington Meadows, Bell School, Clay Farm and Glebe Farm.

Trumpington Meadows

Number of dwellings: In total 4,000 homes are planned, with community facilities such as a primary school, a secondary school, a 60 hectare country park, health centre and local shops. Application submitted by Trumpington Meadows Land Company Ltd.

Status: The Trumpington Meadows development has been granted outline planning permission by a group called the Joint Development Control Committee for the Cambridge Fringes (fairly trips off the tongue). This is made up of councillors from the County, South Cambridgeshire and City councils.

Issues: Our old friends, the shared-use path and permeability. Cambridge_Southern_Fringe_AAP.htm

Bell School site

Location: Land west of Babraham Road, adjacent to Bell International Language School

Dwellings: 347 plus student accommodation for 100 submitted on behalf of the Bell Education Trust.

Issues: On-site cycle routes, cycle parking, access to the site, especially the junction with Babraham Road. There is a separate application for a 3 metre-wide shared footpath/cyclepath/route for emergency vehicles.

Status: Undecided.

Clay Farm

Location: 113.32 hectares of agricultural land between Long Road and Addenbrooke’s Hospital. The proposal as described in the outline planning permission from the developer, Countryside Properties was:

Residential development of up to 2,300 new mixed-tenure dwellings and accompanying provision of education facilities, community facilities, sport and recreation facilities and landscaped open spaces including 54ha. of public open space in the green corridor, retail (A1), food and drink uses (A3, A4, A5), financial and professional services (A2), a nursery (D1), alternative health treatments (D1); and all related infrastructure including: all roads and associated infrastructure, alternative locations for Cambridgeshire Guided Bus stops, alternative location for CGB Landscape Ecological Mitigation Area, attenuation ponds including alternative location for Addenbrooke’s Access Road pond, cycleways, footways and crossings of Hobson’s Brook.

Glebe Farm

Location: South and west of Clay Farm site towards Trumpington.

Number of dwellings: 230.

Issues: Unknown

Status: awaiting planning application

Northstowe (New Town)

Location: Near Oakington and Longstanton.

Number of dwellings: (Gallagher and English Partnership) 9,500 homes – 24,000 people. Employment centre, community facilities (shops, casino, hotel and guest houses etc).

Issues: Progress of construction is likely to discourage people from cycling, woeful inadequacy of provision and lack of detail in the planning application.

Status: still out to consultation.

Marshall’s Airport/Cambridge East Area Action Plan

Location: This is the land currently occupied by Marshall’s Airport and the Newmarket Road Park and Ride site.

Number of dwellings:10,000-12,000 homes – 30,000 people. 80% residential.

Issues: Unknown as yet but the idea is to have a transport hierarchy that places pedestrians first, cyclists second, followed by public transport, emergency vehicles and lastly the private car.

Status: Area Action Plan adopted February 2008.It is unlikely that building work will start before 2016. West_Cambridge_AAP.htm

Updated details of all the developments are on our new Planning webpages, at

Bev Nicolson