Cambridge 2000: King's Hedges Road

Description: King's Hedges Road: field
King's Hedges Road map for King's Hedges Road
Date photograph taken: 01 May 2000 (Alternative map: Google map)

In the 1990s the supermarket chain Sainsbury wanted to put a large shopping centre on this land, but other interested parties stopped it. So instead in 2000 we had an oilseed rape (Brassica napus) field with a used car dealership on one side. One way to stop many people driving into Cambridge would be to put shopping centres here, next to the A14, and in Trumpington, next to the M11. Because these do not exist many people who live in villages near Cambridge drive to Peterborough or to the large shopping malls near the Dartford Tunnel, many miles away, rather than face the hassle of driving into Cambridge.

Later in 2000 tentative plans were announced to develop the site, quite probably as mixed residential, commercial and public, but without any major shopping facilities.

In 2002 outline planning permission was requested to build around 900 dwellings and up to 18000 m2 of office space, with the development being called Arbury Camp.

Outline planning permission was granted in July 2003. Full planning permission was granted in June 2005. Work on the site started in September 2005. The development became known as Arbury Park.

It was mooted that the Cambridgeshire Historical Resource and Cultural Centre (HRCC) might also be located here, but in 2005 it was decided that this would instead be more suitable as part of the railway area development.

There was also some idea that the site would be suitable for an ice rink, but the developer, Gallagher Estates, decided against that in 2006.

The construction of new housing began in July 2006. The first buildings were finished in July 2007.

The first non-residential building, the Orchard Park Community Primary School, opened in September 2007.

In 2008 the development was renamed Orchard Park, after the school.

A hotel opened in May 2009.

In 2010, ten years later, the field looked very different.

Other photographs within 200 m: