Plans for a ground breaking scheme to build new homes in Burwell that can be adapted to suit the changing needs of families and provide a much needed Sports Hub have been submitted.

In a first for Cambridgeshire County Council the authority has submitted plans to East Cambridgeshire District Council for the building 350 homes off Newmarket Road Burwell.

Not only is the development designed to provide high quality homes with facilities that will support the local community but is being built on Council owned farmland. This means any income generated goes back to benefit tax payers and not developers, helping to support vital frontline services.

The proposals follow an allocation in the East Cambridgeshire Local Plan and extensive public consultation.

It is designed to meet the needs of the local community and the Council is looking to design the homes flexibly so that they can be altered with the minimum amount of work. This allows them to accommodate future changes in life situations, such as the ability to add a shower in the ground floor WC with no necessity for structural alterations.

This is the only allocation of this scale in the village. The Council is keen to deliver a development of high quality that helps meet the strong local demand for market rent and affordable housing while also providing an important income source for the authority.

The Council intends to develop out the majority of the site over a number of years and will, subject to viability, retain an element of market rental housing and the affordable housing. The scheme also responds to a clear local demand for land for self-build housing in line with district policy. Some 5 per cent of the total homes built will be available as self- build plots and although not available for some 18 months the County will maintain a Register of Interested Parties and provide details through its agents when they do become available.

In response to discussion with the community and Parish Council the scheme includes provision for 3.8 hectares of land for a new Sports Hub for the village. This will be delivered independently of the County proposals.

Cambridgeshire County Councillor Steve Count, Leader and Chairman of General Purposes Committee, said: "This is a real first in many ways for Cambridgeshire County Council. We are using our farmland to develop housing that is designed to support the growing needs of the local residents and community. Not only is the intention that these homes will be flexible enough to change to meet the needs of residents but there will also be a mix of homes to meet the local needs. We have also listened to the local Parish Council and residents to include land for a new Sports Hub for the village which will provide vital facilities and complement our public health goals. But importantly it also means the income generated from this site will support frontline services rather than going to developers but will continue for years to come. With £41 million savings to find next year and our funding from Government dwindling schemes such as these are vital in supporting our communities and services."

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