Urban&Civic takes on 785 acre HS2 regen opportunity

By Paul Norman - Thursday, March 08, 2018 8:53

Urban&Civic, the listed developer focused on bringing forward some of the UK's largest regeneration schemes, has exchanged contracts with Claydon Estate on 785 acres of greenfield land next to a new High Speed 2 depot on the Claydon Estate near Calvert in Aylesbury Vale, Buckinghamshire.

The site offers the potential for significant residential development in an area of nationally strategic importance

The site adjoins the new High Speed 2 (HS2) depot where the HS2 line will meet the proposed Varsity rail line, within the Cambridge - Milton Keynes - Oxford corridor, a priority area identified by the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) for new housing delivery.

A key modification to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), which was issued for consultation as part of the Prime Minister's speech on making housing fairer (announced 5 March 2018), was the attaching of materiality to endorsed NIC recommendations when preparing plans or determining applications.

Urban&Civic said the agreement underlines its "focus as Master Developer and trusted partner to identify strategic development opportunities in key growth locations which can leverage the impact of significant infrastructure investment".

According to a recent Sunday Times report four to five sites have been identified within the Cambridge - Milton Keynes - Oxford corridor with the potential for up to 89,000 homes, with Aylesbury Vale District being specifically identified as having potential for up to 31,000.

The Calvert site is arguably the most suitable given that it is where High Speed 2 meets the existing track beds on the proposed reintroduction of the Varsity Line.

The site was identified as a prime contender for strategic development by the National Infrastructure Commission at the end of last year. A separately commissioned independent study, published alongside the National Infrastructure Committee report, included it as one of two named locations for full-scale settlement development.

The importance of the site for strategic development would also be significantly increased if a route nearby is chosen by Highways England for the Oxford to Milton Keynes Expressway.

Read CoStar News's recent profile of Urban&Civic and its Master Developer vision here.


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