News & Events

August 2022

Cambridge City Council unanimously approves plans for sustainable low-car neighbourhood

Cambridge City Council has resolved to grant planning consent for Devonshire Gardens, a new sustainable neighbourhood in the heart of Cambridge to be delivered by mixed-use developer Socius and Railpen, the investment manager for the £37 billion railways pension schemes.

We are delighted to have worked alongside architects Buckley Gray Yeoman on the £165m scheme that will transform a three-acre site previously utilised as a Travis Perkins depot into a new neighbourhood comprising 120,000 sq ft of modern, wellbeing-focused workspace, 70 Build-to-Rent homes and community facilities, including a creche, pavilion and flexible studios, all set around a landscaped public park.

The buildings will be connected by a landscaped public park featuring over 120 trees, hundreds of new plant species and a community food garden. The scheme will also create new walkways and cycle paths, improving connectivity to Cambridge rail station and supporting the vision for Devonshire Gardens to be a majority car-free neighbourhood.

Stuart Morse, Vectos (part of SLR) Director said: “The majority car-free development is supported by its central location, excellent proximity to public transport choices and ease of access for pedestrians and cyclists. The development will assist in delivering the Chisholm Trail and incorporates high-quality cycle parking, including a central hub and high quality end of journey facilities.”

Devonshire Gardens will be delivered in accordance with the One Planet Living principles and will increase biodiversity on the site by over 350%. Utilising the Natural Cambridgeshire toolkit, the development has been designed to support Cambridge City Council’s Climate Change Strategy.

Barry Jessup, Managing Director, Socius said: “We are excited to have the opportunity to deliver Devonshire Gardens, which sets a new benchmark for delivering highly sustainable places with workspace, new homes and community amenities. We have partnered with a long-term investor in Railpen who share our vision for a future-focused neighbourhood that will contribute to enhancing Cambridge’s status as a hub for world-class innovation and talent.”

Richard van Lente, Senior Development Manager at Railpen said: “At Railpen, we are committed to creating a portfolio of sustainable assets in key locations that positively contribute to the communities they are part of while delivering exceptional long-term returns for our members. We are therefore very pleased with the decision by Cambridge City Council. We are particularly keen to see this development come to life, delivering real value for the people of Cambridge and our members.”