A car-free future for UK housing – Waterbeach vision revealed

Car-free streets are at the heart of plans for 4,500 homes at a new town at Waterbeach, north of Cambridge.

It is the first time that ‘sociable streets’ have been promoted in the UK at this scale.

Waterbeach New Town East, masterplanned by LDA Design, draws on the dramatic Fen Edge setting to create a sociable, sustainable way of living. The masterplan provides a series of neighbourhood steads, reimagining residential streets and what they can offer.

The outline planning application to South Cambridgeshire District Council has been submitted by RLW Estates.

LDA Design’s Bernie Foulkes, who led the landscape-led masterplan, commented:

“Each neighbourhood stead will comprise up to 400 homes, with its own character, landmarks and facilities.

“The car-free residential streets will have the feel of intimate green linear parks. There will be space for communal activity, from children’s play to eating together to tending vegetable plots.

“The steads will be fine-grained but they will also be part of a bigger landscape and story. Life here will be closely tied to nature, with new parks, shared spaces and naturalistic planting.”

Chris Goldsmith of developer RLW Estates commented:

“We will create the first New Town in the UK that truly puts people first and ensures that their local area is designed for them, not their vehicles.” Cars will be parked at the edge of the steads.