28th June 2017


28th June 2017


A community-led housing development reached an important milestone this week as construction got under way at Marmalade Lane, Orchard Park, Cambridge.

The year-long building programme was kicked off when members of K1 Cohousing put the first spade in the ground, marking the culmination of seven years of work to realise Cambridge’s first cohousing community.

The project has been christened Marmalade Lane after the new street that will run through it – a nod to historic links to the Chivers jam factory that used to be nearby. And, as construction began, future residents ensured things got off to a sweet start by presenting builders with marmalade cakes to wish them well.

Due for completion in summer 2018, Marmalade Lane is a development of 42 stylish Swedish-made homes with shared facilities designed to foster community spirit and sustainable living.

Alongside private homes, residents will have the use of extensive shared gardens and a ‘common house’, with a children’s play room, guest bedrooms, laundry facilities and a large hall and kitchen for shared meals and parties.

Cambridge City Council, which as landowner wanted to see the site developed for cohousing in an innovative way and as a new model for home ownership in the city, worked with K1 members and their advisor Instinctively Green to select joint developers Trivselhus and TOWN to deliver the project.

After working with future residents and a design team led by award-winning Cambridge-based practice Mole Architects to win planning permission in late 2016, Trivselhus and TOWN have hired local contractor Coulson Building Group to build the £8 million scheme.

Jonny Anstead, Director of TOWN, said: “This is a big moment for a project that is a model for delivering better, custom-built housing through collaboration with the people who will live here. Marmalade Lane will be a fantastic place to live and a great addition to Orchard Park. A builder more local to and experienced in Cambridge than Coulson would have been hard to find, and we’re delighted to be working with them.”

Jan Chadwick of Cambridge Cohousing said: “Our members are thrilled that, after so much hard work, we’ll be moving in next summer. Marmalade Lane is all about community and mutual support, and what could represent that better than turning up on day one with cakes for the builders? While Coulson build the scheme, we’ll be focusing on bringing the last few cohousing members on board. Homes have been selling like hot cakes!”

Councillor Richard Robertson, Executive Councillor for Finance and Resources at Cambridge City Council, said “This project demonstrates Cambridge City Council’s ongoing commitment to using its assets and resources to encourage new models of housing provision whilst generating capital receipts that can be recycled into future projects for the benefit of the city.”

Meredith Bowles, Director of Mole Architects, said: “Marmalade Lane is an important development for Cambridge and shows the way to better designed, more responsive living environments at a time when there is such urgent debate about how Britain houses itself.”

Adam Broadway, Director of Instinctively Green, said: “Many cohousing developments never reach this point, and it’s a tribute to the tenacity of members and all the professionals involved that they can now look forward to taking up residence at Marmalade Lane in 2018.”

Dave Teeboon, Site Manager for Coulson Building Group, said: “It’s an unusual privilege to meet the residents of a housing development before you’ve built it. With our HQ less than a mile away, it’s great to be working and employing local people on a local project.”

Homes are still available – to find out more, visit www.marmaladelane.co.uk or call Jan Chadwick on 07986 107245.

Notes for editors

  • Marmalade Lane is a development of 42 custom-designed homes on land formerly known as site K1, Topper Street, Orchard Park, Cambridge. Key features of the development include:
    • 42 homes ranging from one-bedroom flats to four-bedroom family homes;
    • a Common House including lounge, kitchen, large dining area, meeting rooms, children’s play room, laundry and visitor bedrooms;
    • a large shared garden (in addition to private gardens and balconies to dwellings) incorporating amenity space, rainwater management areas, food growing areas and retained trees and hedgerow;
    • the scheme will be built to close-to-Passivhaus standards, exceeding the requirements of policy and making good on Cambridge Cohousing’s commitment to sustainable development; and
    • two affordable homes are being built to the same high standards as the rest of the development
  • Cohousing. Instigated and run by their residents, cohousing developments are communities where people not only know their neighbours, but actively manage their environment alongside them. As well as their individual private homes, resident households have the shared use of
    common facilities and spaces where they can cook, eat and socialise together. For more information see www.cohousing.org.uk
  • Cambridge Cohousing Limited (www.cambridge-k1.co.uk) is a company formed by the K1 Cohousing Group of future residents. All residents will be members of the cohousing company,
    which will be the eventual freeholder of the development. Cambridge Cohousing were advised from inception of the project by Instinctively Green (www.instinctivelygreen.co.uk).
  • Trivselhus and TOWN (www.trivselhus.co.uk; www.wearetown.co.uk) were appointed as enabling development partners by Cambridge City Council in July 2015. Working together as ‘TOWNhus’, they offer highly energy efficient, Swedish factory-made timber homes in the form
    of traditional Cambridge terraces that are customisable floor-by-floor to purchasers’ requirements from a menu of options.
  • Mole Architects (www.molearchitects.co.uk) is an award-winning Cambridge-based architectural practice. Mole led the design team which also included engineers Elliott Wood and Hoare Lea, landscape architect Jamie Buchanan and sustainability consultants Cocreate.
  • Coulson Building Group (www.coulson.co.uk) has provided building services in the Cambridge area since 1884. The Group’s headquarters is on Cowley Road, close to the site, and has a strong track record of recruiting, training and developing local people.
  • A full planning application (reference no. S/3223/15/FL) was submitted to South Cambridgeshire District Council (the Local Planning Authority) in December 2015 and granted permission in November 2016. South Cambridgeshire District Council is one of 11 national custom build ‘vanguard’ councils.
  • 8 of the 40 market properties remain available – a range of three and four bedroom houses – with prices starting from £452,500. Marketing of the two affordable homes will commence later in 2017.
  • Press enquires and further information:
    • TOWN: Jonny Anstead (07500 335315) or Neil Murphy (07714 097924)
    • Cambridge Cohousing: Jan Chadwick (07986 107245)
    • Cambridge City Council: Dave Prinsep (01223 913012)
    • Mole Architects: Claire Curtice (020 7613 1442) or mail@clairecurtice.co.uk
    • Instinctively Green: Adam Broadway (07817 888448)

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