Continuing investment in strategic sites around Cambridge
Urban&Civic will be leading the future development of Wintringham Park, in St Neots, Cambridgeshire, following an agreement in which the strategic developers will acquire a one third partnership stake in the development alongside the Nuffield Trusts and assume the master developer role.
The 400 acre (162.3 hectares) site – which lies directly adjacent to the popular railway station – is allocated under the Local Plan for development, with plans for up to 2,800 residential units, 63,500 sqm of employment space, a district centre and two primary schools. The move will see a new masterplan being developed with input from local partners and communities which is likely to be submitted later this year.
Urban&Civic have forged a partnership with The Nuffield Trusts, which comprise the Nuffield Dominions Trust and the Nuffield Oxford Hospitals Fund. The charities are dedicated to supporting medical research and teaching at the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust and Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust and within the Medical Sciences Division of the University.
Under the arrangement, Urban&Civic will continue the successful formula developed at Alconbury Weald, in Huntingdonshire, taking forward the masterplanning and delivery of the site as a whole; bringing forward early infrastructure to support a sustainable development; managing the roll-out of fully serviced land parcels with housebuilders; and taking a long term interest in green space management, delivery and maintenance of key infrastructure, and community development.
Wintringham Park is a key strategic site within Huntingdonshire, forming an adopted eastern extension to St. Neots. The land is bordered by the East Coast Main Line to the west and by the A428 to Cambridge to the south and east. Alongside Alconbury Weald and Waterbeach, the project represents Urban&Civic's third major holding with ready access to Cambridge. Like the other schemes, it is situated in a priority growth corridor for the area, with the development looking to unlock further investment in transport connections.
The land at St. Neots has been in the ownership of one or both Nuffield Trusts since the 1940s and forms a major part of their bequest from the late Lord Nuffield. The Trusts are able to draw upon significant expertise in health and innovation and this will become a core part of the ambitious vision to design and deliver a well-planned development at Wintringham, supported by robust connections and infrastructure, high quality green space and improved well being.
The investment reflects Urban&Civic’s policy to act as Master Developer and owner/ investor on large projects in affordable areas of high population growth. The approach seeks to bring forward well-planned large sites, in partnership with local authorities, to support the rapid increase in population in and around Cambridge, which over the past ten years has seen a growth of around 15 per cent. The approach looks to deliver large sites quickly, by investing early in infrastructure and landscape setting to ensure quality is delivered from the first tree to the last brick, with the company’s long term investment and ownership ensuring an ongoing relationship with local partners, local authorities and local communities. Collectively the three Urban&Civic projects in Cambridgeshire will deliver nearly 15,000 homes, four million sq ft of business space, eight primary schools and at least two new secondary schools.
In describing the potential for the future partnership Nigel Hugill, Chief Executive of Urban&Civic, said:
"The real thrill for us is in the prospect of taking our Master Developer model and deploying the Nuffield experience of creating healthier lifestyles to show just what well planned new large scale projects can achieve. We are aiming for accelerated housing delivery in which improved well being is made a priority from the outset."
Sir Andrew Dilnot, Warden of Nuffield College, Oxford and Chair of the Nuffield Dominions Trust added:
"The trusts are committed to furthering medical research and teaching. We have owned the site for 75 years and high quality development in the context of all that the Nuffield name stands for remains our absolute priority. We are determined that our partnership with Urban&Civic will provide an appropriate financial and environmental legacy."
About Urban&Civic plc
Urban&Civic plc is an established UK property development and investment company listed on the London Stock Exchange's main market (UANC), with total assets valued at over £450 million (30 September 2016). Headquartered in London and with a network of regional offices, Urban&Civic’s team is led by Nigel Hugill, CEO, and Robin Butler, Managing Director. The Company has significant in-house expertise across site assembly, planning, project management, delivery, community engagement and sales.
Strategic land constitutes the core of Urban&Civic’s business model where, as Master Developer, it owns or has the stewardship of over 4,000 acres across four sites located close to Cambridge, Huntingdon, Newark and Rugby. These sites will deliver more than 20,000 new homes, over six million sqft of business space, and at least eleven primary and three secondary schools over the next 15 to 20 years.
Proud to be defined by the quality of its projects, Urban&Civic is distinguished by its emphasis as Master Developer on the leveraged benefits that can be delivered from Strategic Sites. These include the creation of new jobs and enhanced skills as well as the delivery of real opportunities for local communities and stakeholders.
About the Nuffield Trusts
Lord Nuffield was the major benefactor to Oxford medicine. His generosity in this area effectively created the modern University Medical School and came in many forms, over an extended period.
His key gifts included the purchase of the Radcliffe Infirmary and Observatory sites from St Johns College, the founding from scratch of the Nuffield Orthopaedic Hospital, and endowing the widening of the scope of the University's Medical School, the Nuffield Medical Research Institute, the Nuffield Dominions Trust (whose purpose is to promote the progress of medical knowledge by co-operation between the Oxford Medical School and certain overseas universities), and the Nuffield Oxford Hospitals Fund whose purpose is to fund investments in Oxford hospitals that support the University’s teaching and research activities. (For the avoidance of doubt, these benefactions are completely independent from the Nuffield Trust private hospital group, the Nuffield Foundation and Nuffield College itself.)
Wintringham Park has since the 1940s formed a major part of the bequests from the late Lord Nuffield to the Nuffield Dominions Trust and Nuffield Oxford Hospitals Fund and to Oxford medicine in general. It is important for the Trusts to both maximise value and quality in its delivery. Nuffield have significant expertise in health, innovation and education which it seeks to see taken forward within the vision for Wintringham Park.