Cambourne is a new settlement nine miles west of Cambridge, with planning permission for 3,300 new homes, town centre facilities, a 50 ha Business Park and over 240 ha of public open space.
Randall Thorp have acted as landscape consultants since the scheme’s inception in 1989 and were part of the team of consultants that drew up the masterplan in 1995. In addition to input to the planning and strategic design of Cambourne, Randall Thorp were also responsible for the detailed design and overseeing construction contracts for all elements of Green Infrastructure on site.
More detailed aims within the masterplan were:
Conservation of village character
Development will occur in a manner that respects traditional English settlement patterns for villages and market towns. The quintessential character of villages and market towns will be the basis for the Masterplan.
Conservation of community
- Village life is often centred around certain key activities and/or buildings. The disposition of these elements in the Masterplan will reflect the social and community benefits that arise from the function of these buildings (or areas).
- Within a larger overall community, there may be subdivision into smaller groups that help to establish identity for individuals and the area in which they live and work.
- The Masterplan will respect the existing communities in the area by avoiding any unnecessary strain or burden upon their current framework.
Conservation of rural character
The landscape of South Cambridgeshire includes parkland, woodland and many delightful, intimate rural landscapes associated with villages and country houses, within wide expanses of otherwise open arable land.
- The Master Plan will conserve existing features of landscape value within the site.
- An attractive rural landscape will be created which reflects the best traditions of the South Cambridgeshire villages and country houses.
- The landscape framework will enable the new settlement to be integrated harmoniously into the surrounding countryside.
Conservation of ecology
Ecological considerations will he incorporated throughout the design process and all development stages. Existing habitats and species of nature conservation value will be protected.
- Biodiversity will be conserved and enhanced by habitat management and creation.
- Habitats characteristic of the local area and region will be created.
Conservation of energy
- Conservation of energy in relation to journeys within, to and from the site will be respected. Movement by foot, bicycle and other non-vehicular forms will be facilitated and encouraged.
- Public transport connections to the wider area with an efficient routing through the site must be established.
- Motor vehicles must be adequately provided for but that provision will not be dominant in the plan.
- Facilities will be provided to allow residents and business
Randall Thorp contributed detailed design guidance to over 20 chapters in the 1995 Masterplan and Design Guide including:
- Country and Eco Parks
- The Entrance Park
- Footpaths, Bridleways, Cycleways and Tracks
- Village Greens
- Nature Reserves
- Enclosure and Artas-ua.info at Development Edges
- Integration of Development into the Artas-ua.info
- Site Boundaries and Off Site Highways
- Highway Verge Artas-ua.infos
- Enclosure Types
- Lakes and Wetlands, Artas-ua.info Treatments
- Lakes and Wetlands, Engineering Requirements (with WSP)
- Amenity and Sport Land
- School Grounds
- Play Areas
- Golf Course Artas-ua.info
- Planting and Soft Artas-ua.info
- Protection of Vegetation and Artas-ua.info Features
- Protection of Soils
Approximate Map Location
Randall Thorp LLP
The Cambourne Consortium - Taylor Wimpey, Bovis
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Winner, Design over 5ha category, and Highly commended Local landscape planning category, LI Awards 2010
To design and deliver a new settlement of 3300 homes for a consortium of private house builders that would meet or exceed planning requirements and be a place where people would choose to live. The main aim and objective for the development, as embodied in the Masterplan was sustainability,defined as "Development which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. and which avoids irreparable or long-term damage to the environment."
Original Masterplan Consultant: Farrells | Ecologists: ESL Ecological Services Ltd |Services and on-site highway engineers: WSP Group Plc | Off site highways and transport engineers: RPS Group Plc | Project Director (1998-2009): Chare Associates | Artas-ua.info Maintenance: Tilbrooks Ltd; Pro-Scape Ltd, Cambridgeshire Wildlife Trust
South Cambridgeshire District Council
Featured case study in the LI's 'Why invest in landscape?' campaign 2011 and the LI’s 2012 publication Artas-ua.info architecture: a guide for clients
Site survey and analysis and desk top studies continued to inform the work. Every tree, woodland and hedgerow on the 400 ha site was recorded, measured and assessed. Historical research at Cambridge University threw up details such as traditional woodland boundary treatments and farm pond design features specific to South Cambridgeshire.
Working closely with the design teams ecologists, a range of new habitats were designed to enhance the meagre ecological potential of the site. A close working relationship with the scheme's engineers ensured that Cambourne's open spaces could integrate with its future engineering requirements to create a range of truly multi-functional open spaces; what is now referred to as Green Infrastructure.
Many of the scheme's concepts were innovative for their time:
Smoothing the planning process:
Artas-ua.info contractors: Tilbrooks Ltd; Pro-Scape Ltd Artas-ua.info maintenance: Tilbrooks Ltd; Pro-Scape Ltd, Cambridgeshire Wildlife Trust