Scenario 2:
Densification


The Policy

  • To provide maximum development where it is most wanted, i.e., the City of Cambridge, and to protect the remainder of the area surrounding the City from further development.

  • No additional buildings beyond existing planning permissions except within the City.

  • Similar new development allowed in key market towns such as Ely, Huntingdon, St Ives and St Neots.

  • Replacement of buildings encouraged within the City (e.g., replacement of two storey houses by four storey buildings, low rise offices by higher buildings, etc).

  • Transport improved within the City e.g. (bus and cycle priority lanes, improved junctions etc).

There would still be a slight increase in households outside the City, despite the restrictions. This is due to existing permissions for development, subdivision of houses into flats, and reductions of household size. Large (50% by 2016) increase in the City.

A major increase in employment within the City is supported. Employment continues to grow slightly outside the City serving local residents.

The Results

  • Housing costs fall within the City but continue to increase elsewhere.

  • Housing becomes more affordable for lower socio-economic groups within the City and thus a more balanced social mix is achieved.

  • Employment costs increase slightly within the City, mainly due to congestion, with more pronounced increases in other districts.

  • Improved prospects for employees in traditional jobs in the City due to lower labour costs.

  • Increased concentration of jobs and houses which would reduce commuting into Cambridge but increase congestion within the City.

Cost of living increases within the City would stop and eventually reduce, due to increased housing supply limiting price and rental increases; the cost of goods and services would be contained.

The cost of production within the City and across the districts would increase more evenly, due to more stable labour costs, floorspace rentals and congestion.

Transport implications

  • Greater concentration of jobs and housing in the City would generate increased levels of congestion, despite the expected higher use of public transport, cycling and walking.

  • Traffic delays within the City rise substantially.

  • Emissions and thus pollution increase within the City.

  • Significant improvements to the City’s transport network would be necessary, which would affect the buildings next to the road widening schemes.

Evaluation

Efficiency

  • Economic efficiency would be maintained, facilitating the competitiveness of the region.

  • Export-oriented firms such as those in the high-tech sector would find it easier to compete with the rest of the world, facing only about 1% per year increase in production costs (between 2001 and 2016).

Equity

  • Social equity would be largely maintained in the City of Cambridge through the supply of more affordable housing, thus achieving a balanced increase in households from different socio-economic groups.

  • South Cambridgeshire, East Cambridgeshire and Huntingdonshire would also maintain their current social mixes.

Environment

  • Good protection of the environment outside the City.

  • Reduction of private open space within the City, thus becoming more compact and changing in appearance.

  • Substantial traffic congestion.

  • Increase in emissions and pollution in the City due to the concentration of population and employment.

 

Before and after

densification01_before_250x250c.jpg (29629 bytes)
©Cambridge Futures & METAPHORM - 3D model based on Ordnance Survey © CCC and Crown Copyright. All rights reserved.

 

In this sample area in the south of the city the key developments are i) the building of new dwellings on public open space and in larger gardens (in the top left of the area), and ii) additional storeys on existing - or replaced - dwellings

 

densification01_after_250x250c.jpg (30996 bytes)
©Cambridge Futures & METAPHORM - 3D model based on Ordnance Survey © CCC and Crown Copyright. All rights reserved.

To Option 3 Analysis