Unique Cambridge Housing Development Breaks Ground

A community-led housing project, jointly developed by Trivselhus and TOWN 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 on 26th June 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.

Marmalade Lane, christened with a nod to its historic links to the nearby Chivers jam factory, is due for completion in summer 2018. This is a development of 42 stylish Swedish-made, custom-designed 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.

Construction gets off to a sweet start on Marmalade Lane as future residents presented the Coulson building team with marmalade cakes to wish them well.

Construction gets off to a sweet start on Marmalade Lane as future residents presented the Coulson building team with marmalade cakes to wish them well. 

Breaking ground at Marmalade Lane

Children from the K1 cohousing group enjoy their visit to the Marmalade Lane site

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.”

Ken Forster, Managing Director of Trivselhus UK said: “ This project is all about leaving behind something we can really be proud of. The sustainable values of Marmalade Lane, are a great fit for our own ethical approach to building and development.”

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.”

A small number of three and four bedroom houses are still available with prices starting from £452,500. Marketing of the two affordable homes will commence later in 2017.

To find out more, visit www.marmaladelane.co.uk or call Jan Chadwick on 07986 107245.

Marmalade Lane is jointly developed by TOWN and Trivselhus. To find out more about TOWN visit www.wearetown.co.uk

Updated: 6/29/2017