Azara Blog: House building begins at Arbury Park

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Date published: 2006/08/15

The Cambridge Evening News says:

Work is set to begin on building hundreds of affordable homes after roads and utilities were completed.

Major infrastructure works at Arbury Park, which will see 900 homes built by 2011, have been finished on time and on budget by contractor Galliford Try.

The company began constructing new roads, installing utility services and making changes to the surrounding roads, linking into the development in September 2005.

Housebuilding can now begin and the first properties are expected to be complete by early next year.
David Cowans, Places for People chief executive, said: "The economic growth in Cambridgeshire has made it an attractive place for people to live and work. Yet that growth has highlighted increasing concerns over affordability, with average house prices outstripping wages by up to seven times.

"Arbury Park will provide first-time buyers, key workers or those with young families with a range of affordable housing which is both sustainable and built to a very high quality."

Well, the first houses have been under construction already for some weeks. And they do not look to be either that "sustainable" (whatever that really means) or "built to a very high quality", rather they look like the standard boxes built all over the country in large quantities. The developer, Gallagher Estates, did a good job before the work started in making all the politically correct noises about the development. But already some of what they promised has not happened. Arbury Park (or Arbury Camp, as it was once known) was supposed to have a prestige building on site, in particular the HRCC, the Heritage Resource and Cultural Centre, which now seems destined to be put in the railway station development. And there were supposed to be offices along the A14, which amongst other things would have helped drown out the noise of the A14. But these offices are also no longer going to be built (at least in the short term) and instead we have a dreadful long fence along the A14. This is not a promising start.

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