£61m infra loan to pave way for 6,500-home scheme

Grant Prior 4 years ago
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Homes England has agreed a £61m investment with developer Urban&Civic to fund infrastructure work to pave the way for a new 6,500 home community at Waterbeach in Cambridgeshire.

The loan will fund key strategic infrastructure including roundabout improvements to create a main access route from the A10 and road, drainage and utility works to open up the first phase of the development.

The first £15m round of contracts will be awarded to local businesses in the next six months.

Housing Minister Christopher Pincher said: “Building the homes we need is central to the mission of this Government, which is why we have safely reopened the housing market.

“This £61 million investment from Homes England, the Government’s housing accelerator, will deliver the building blocks of a community that people will be proud to call home, including a new primary school, health centre and community centre.”

Urban&Civic, in partnership with landowner the MOD, has secured outline planning permission to create 6,500 homes and five schools as well as commercial, retail, leisure and community facilities at the former WW2 RAF Bomber Command airfield site six miles north of Cambridge.

The first phase of 1600 homes is currently progressing through planning, and early landscaping, archaeology and remediation work is underway.

Neil Milligan, Head of Infrastructure Finance at Homes England said: “Our investment in large scale, long term projects like Waterbeach demonstrates how our funding can help to accelerate the ambition of master developers like Urban&Civic in developing great places to live and work.

“Covid-19 has presented the industry with many challenges, and it’s great that despite these setbacks we can continue to secure agreements with our partners that build on our pipeline of investing in quality homes and communities and support the wider industry in its recovery.”

Nigel Hugill, Chief Executive of Urban&Civic, said: “Funds generated from initial rentals and house sales will be reinvested to further accelerate delivery with the continuing involvement of local contractors and the house builder supply chain.

“Partnership funding from Homes England is fundamental to that investment model. We would not attempt the same pace and ambition without their long-term loan support.”

 

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