Article image

    •       1 billion development project to deliver circa 4,500 much needed new homes

    •       New community set to be one of the most significant developments in the UK

    •       Redevelopment plans will generate up to 8,000[1] new jobs

    •       Innovative partnership structure underpins accelerated public sector land disposal programme

The Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO), the Ministry of Defence’s (MOD) property and services provider, has appointed Crest Nicholson as Development Manager for the mixed-use redevelopment of Wyton Airfield. The site, which is located near St Ives in Cambridgeshire, offers a unique opportunity to deliver a high-quality development of some 4,500 new homes, generating approximately 8,000 new jobs across the construction, office and retail sectors in the process.

Scott Black, Group New Business Director at Crest Nicholson, comments: "The transformation of Wyton Airfield in Cambridgeshire into a thriving new community will be one of the most significant developments in the country. With an estimated Gross Development Value of circa £1bn, the project will deliver 4,500 much needed homes and major supporting infrastructure. It will also deliver two new primary schools, a new secondary school, improved public transport connections into Cambridge and Huntingdon, along with significant employment opportunities, and a district centre including shops, a doctors’ surgery, and supporting community facilities.”

The development is to be designed and delivered in line with Garden Village principles, which advocate a holistic approach embracing social, environmental and economic factors to create genuinely sustainable communities.  Crest Nicholson’s approach, embodied on a number of its major projects, is founded on the principles of visionary design, high-quality green spaces, homes for all segments of the community, and the greater involvement of communities in both the vision and the long term management arrangements.

Scott adds: “We plan to deliver around a third of the new homes and associated facilities ourselves, together with a significant PRS element and up to 470 MOD houses for local service men and women. We will then look to bring in other local house builders to work alongside us and also look at ways to stimulate the self-build market. Key to the long term success of the project will be partnership working and building a positive consensus not only with the DIO, but also with nearby communities, the Local Authority and key stakeholders.

“Our selection by the DIO to lead this important development underscores Crest Nicholson’s strong reputation and track record as a partner of choice to the public sector for designing and delivering high-quality sustainable communities. We are very pleased to have the opportunity to work alongside the DIO to realise the full redevelopment potential of this significant brown field site."

Wyton Airfield will be the second major project on which Crest Nicholson has been appointed as lead developer by the DIO in the last 18 months. Indeed, nearly a quarter of Crest Nicholson’s current developments are being delivered in partnership with the public and private sector, including the Arborfield Garrison Re-development in Berkshire with the DIO; Woolston Riverside in Southampton; and Oakgrove, Milton Keynes with the HCA.  

Matthew Punshon, DIO Director Asset Strategy and Portfolio, said:

“DIO’s priority is to provide the right sized estate to enable military effectiveness which is affordable to government over the long term. Where this allows us to release surplus land for development such as Wyton Airfield, it means that new homes can be provided where they are needed and helps to achieve wider government policies for housing supply and sustainable development.”

It is anticipated that an application will be submitted in the early part of 2016.

[1] Comprising 2,500 jobs across the office and retail sectors, plus a further 5,500 construction jobs