After more than a decade in the pipeline, contractors are finally due to begin construction of Cambridge’s latest community, which will feature 1,500 homes, a supermarket and a school.
Work on Barratt Homes’ Darwin Green, which will be built on land between Huntingdon Road and Histon Road, had been due to begin this week, however, the schedule has been hit with another delay as developers work through legal issues associated with the ownership of the land.
It is now hoped work will begin on May 19.
Richard Taylor, contracts manager at Barratt Homes, said: “The work has been delayed, but it is still imminent. We hope to get started on May 19. It is just a formality with legal stuff. It is unfortunate because we want to get started.
“We have over 1,500 houses, as well as a supermarket and schools. It is a massive job.”
Mr Taylor said that when work begins on the site, builders will first install roads and infrastructure for the development before beginning on houses. This work could take up to 12 months. The entire development, it is hoped, will be complete by 2026.
Cllr John Hipkin, the independent city councillor who represents Castle, said people living in new-build houses near to the site would be relieved when the work finally started.
He said: “This whole thing started 11 years ago. I am not surprised to hear there has been another delay.
“The houses that have already been built, and there are about 350 dwellings off Huntingdon Road, have been there for several years. They are not strictly part of the Darwin Green site but those people are bereft of normal facilities.
“The delay means people living in those houses have to go down to the local garage to get milk because there is no local store or other community facilities. There is a whole community just waiting for something to happen.”
The first phase of the development will see the construction of 173 homes, including 1, 2, 3, and 4 bedroom properties. 40 per cent will be affordable homes.
The local centre created as part of Darwin Green will include shops, a health centre and library.
Barratt says no construction work will take place on the site on Sundays or Bank and Public holidays.