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MoD picks Crest Nicholson for £1bn Cambridgeshire scheme

17 Nov 14 Crest Nicholson has been chosen by the Defence Infrastructure Organisation as development partner for a £1bn scheme that will create 4,500 new homes at Wyton Airfield in Cambridgeshire.

Redevelopment of the airfield is set to generate approximately 8,000 new jobs across the construction, office and retail sectors in the process.

The Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO)  is the Ministry of Defence’s (MOD) property and services provider.

Scott Black, group new business director at Crest Nicholson, said: "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 to create sustainable communities.

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Black added: “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.

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.

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.

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