Core Site North East Cambridge.

The Project

ECF are working with U+I and TOWN, the master developers of the Core Site, North East Cambridge. The site currently consists of an Anglian Water Waste Water Treatment Plant, and the Cambridge Golf Driving Range on Cowley Road in North East Cambridge. A joint venture has been created between the master developers and Anglian Water and Cambridge City Council to bring forward proposals for:

  • 5,600 new homes, including 40% affordable housing
  • New commercial space facilitating over 6,000 new jobs
  • Three new primary schools, and additional social infrastructure
  • A Net Zero carbon development that minimises embodies and operational energy
  • New walking and cycling facilities.

The project team are developing a five-minute neighbourhood concept, in which people will have facilities within a five-minute walk or cycle from their doorstep. This is based on several similar models that have been developed in European countries.


Our role

Working in close collaboration with the master developers and partners, ECF have shaped comprehensive communication and engagement programme for the coming two years, ahead of the submission of a planning application. To date, the team have conducted the following activity:

  • A webinar programme to launch the process
  • A pop-up roadshow with a branded cargo bike to deliver COVID-safe physical engagement activity
  • Launched a website and interactive Engagement Hub, alongside a launch video
  • Recruited and convened an Ideas Exchange, with 18 randomly selected individuals representing a demographically representative sample of the North East Cambridge community.

Two Design Festivals are planned for September 2022 and September 2023 where the community will be invited to come in and shape the future of the project over a week-long period.



To date, the project team have engaged with over 1,000 people locally and we have collected hundreds of ideas on what a new “five-minute neighbourhood” on the Core Site may look like.

Core Site 1
Core Site 2