The plans for Kennett Garden Village have moved to the next key stage of the project, as the landowners and East Cambs Trading Company (ECTC) have selected Bellway Homes to deliver the project alongside Kennett Community Land Trust (KCLT).
Outline planning permission was granted for the development in April 2020. The project will include 500 homes, 150 of which will be affordable, with at least 60 of those owned and managed by KCLT. In addition, the development will include new roads, a school, large areas of green open space and community infrastructure.
The landowners asked ECTC – who trade under the name Palace Green Homes – to choose a developer with the capacity and experience to build high quality homes, and the ECTC Board has recently agreed that the majority of the site will be developed by Bellway.
Based locally in Cambridgeshire, Bellway has the experience to deliver the much-needed new homes as well as the skills and commitment to meet the wider aspirations of the project. Establishment of a new Delivery Board forms part of the agreement and this will see all interested parties, the landowner, KCLT, ECTC and Bellway, working together through the construction stages of the project.
At the request of the landowners and ECTC, Bellway will take the promised ‘infrastructure-first’ approach to benefit the existing and future community. The new roads, open spaces and primary school will be built as part of the first phase of the development. The retirement village and Enterprise Park will be retained by the landowners until the supporting infrastructure is in place and ECTC will maintain a long term interest in the project via these aspects of the development.
The development will be low density and high-quality, with new open spaces and highway improvements that were sought by local people during the planning process. All of the parties involved are committed to deliver a near net-zero carbon development, with homes that are energy and water efficient, heated by air-source pumps, and benefitting from solar panels and electric vehicle charging. The development will also enhance the natural environment to achieve a net-gain in biodiversity, with a range of newly created, accessible green spaces and sustainable urban drainage systems.
Councillor Anna Bailey, Leader of East Cambridgeshire District Council, said: “I am delighted that a delivery plan for Kennett Garden Village has been agreed which fulfils all the promises made, both to the local community and to KCLT.
“This development, led by local people that make up KCLT, is different and it is special. At least 60 of the 150 affordable homes will come under the stewardship of the CLT and, just as planned, those homes will be reserved first and foremost for local people with links to Kennett. The infrastructure first approach, which will deliver vital community assets for the whole of the village ahead of anyone moving in, is also being honoured.
“All delivery partners are incredibly excited to be part of a development which will be built to a near carbon net zero standard, and I truly believe it will be a development of which we can all be proud.
“The contractual agreement ensures that all partners that have worked so hard on this plan to date, retain an important role overseeing its implementation. This means that together, we can look forward to seeing Kennett Garden Village come to fruition.”
Paul Remington, Chairman of ECTC, continued: “The new development at Kennett is an exciting and ambitious project that will enhance the existing community of Kennett and welcome new residents to the area. We are pleased to see this project move to the next stage and we are pleased to be leading on the delivery of the retirement village and commercial area for this development. We are confident that Bellway’s involvement as the delivery partner will ensure that the vision can be made a reality as quickly as possible whilst retaining the commitment to quality.”
The landowners commented: "Our family are delighted to be helping to create a substantial and lasting legacy for the Kennett community, both present and future, including 150 affordable homes, wonderful public open space and a much desired new site for Kennett primary school. We are proud of our plans for these community assets and grateful to KCLT for their enthusiasm and hard work over the past few years.
“We have spent many years developing our plans for this site, in order to build the very best homes that we can in the most environmentally responsible manner. We have been impressed with Bellway’s commitment to achieving our goals and are confident that Bellway is the right team for the project. We look forward to working with Bellway, KCLT and ECTC over the next few years to deliver our vision for an exceptional site."
A spokesperson from KCLT commented: “Kennett CLT is delighted to see this development moving to the next stage and to provide much-needed new homes and infrastructure for our village. The CLT is looking forward to working collaboratively with the developer and Palace Green Homes to ensure that the local community can truly benefit from the affordable properties on site. Bellway is committed to ensuring that the original vision for the site is upheld and our Board will be working with the key parties to ensure that the elements important to the community, such as the infrastructure-first approach, are delivered to the highest quality.
“We have been working alongside the community of Kennett, Palace Green Homes and the current landowners for years to ensure that this project delivers a high-quality development for the village and the CLT Board is pleased to see this project take another step in the right direction.”
A spokesperson for Bellway said: “Bellway has completed the process to formally acquire land as part of a circa 100-acre scheme in Kennett to ultimately deliver around 500 new homes within a sustainable development project in Cambridgeshire.
“With the site now formally acquired, Bellway will submit a reserved matters planning application to set out its proposals for the development which will feature sustainable measures across the wider scheme. Of the 500 homes to be built, 150 will be provided as affordable housing and 60 of these will be made available through the Kennett Community Land Trust. Bellway intends to commence construction work on site by late 2022.
“The wider development is set to comprise a primary school, an enterprise zone for businesses, a retirement village community and additional living infrastructure through local centre amenities including shops. Outline planning consent for the scheme was secured in April 2020 by Palace Green Homes and the landowner.
“Bellway is looking forward to moving onto the next stage of this project in Kennett having completed the purchase of the land.”
The developer will begin work on a reserved matters planning application for the development, with work expected to start on site by late 2022.