Gardner Close

Gardner Close



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Number/street name:
Darwin Green, BDW 5 and 6

Address line 2:
1 Lindsey Street




Architect contact number:

Barratt / David Wilson Homes.

Barratt David Wilson Homes

Planning Authority:
Greater Cambridge Shared Planning Authority

Planning consultant:
Carter Jonas

Planning Reference:

Date of Completion:

Schedule of Accommodation:
39x 1-bed; 179x 2-bed; 68x 3-bed; 110x 4-bed; 15x 5-bed

Tenure Mix:
40% affordable; 60% market sale

Total number of homes:

Site size (hectares):
8.9 ha

Net Density (homes per hectare):

Size of principal unit (sq m):

Smallest Unit (sq m):
51 sqm

Largest unit (sq m):
157 sqm

No of parking spaces:

Scheme PDF Download

Planning History

Outline planning permission was granted in 2013 for a mixed-use development comprising up to 1,593 dwellings, a primary school with children’s centre, convenience store, mixed retail units, a park and other recreational facilities, library, health centre, community rooms and sports pavilion. BDW 5 & 6 is the fifth phase of the development, with Reserved Matters approved in December 2021.

The Design Process

On the northern edge of Cambridge, this new neighbourhood of 411 high-quality homes integrates successfully into the Darwin Green masterplan, of which BDW 5 & 6 are the fifth and sixth phases, forming the northern gateway to the development.

The site’s history of food growing and horticulture inspired our proposal, which introduces edible streets and orchards linked to allotments and enhances ecology and biodiversity.

Throughout the masterplan, we have provided a series of streets and shared social spaces, which connect to the wider open spaces of Darwin Green, to the local centre, and to neighbouring areas via pedestrian and cycle-friendly routes. This supports a healthy, sustainable community within ribbons of landscape.

There are three neighbourhoods, each with a green space at the heart, and each with its own character. As part of an intergenerational landscape, each neighbourhood provides a series of shared surface and car-free streets and spaces, ensuring the development is child-friendly and provides opportunities for people of all ages for relaxing, meeting, resting, fitness and play.

Well-designed, sustainable buildings enhance, activate and frame the public realm with a variety of dwelling types and sizes that work with the landscape to define the neighbourhood's character and cater for a diverse community. Homes are designed with extra space to enable home working and use local materials and techniques detailed in contemporary ways. Massing is arranged so that larger, denser apartment blocks sit along the more ‘urban’ spine through the middle of the site, transitioning at the edges of the development to a more suburban scale. These buildings form ‘markers’ at key nodes.

We have also built in instinctive wayfinding by introducing additional features such as corner windows on main junctions, marking urban moments and thresholds with a contrast of materials, and book-ending streets with a pitched roof or change of building height.

Choose a few key elements you want to promote

• Elements of the scheme regarded as ‘the best ever brought to this [planning] committee for a major application’
• Extensive public realm for all ages to enjoy
• Enhancements to outline planning consent: new east-west route between allotments and orbital cycle route; roads downgraded to promote active travel
• Maisonettes with front doors to streets
• Timber frame buildings (MMC)
• Water features established to encourage biodiversity net gain
• Proposal looks beyond the red line to connect to existing / future neighbouring developments
• ‘Play on the way’ routes to encourage walking/cycling to school
• Network of vibrant streets and spaces supporting a healthy and sustainable community

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Scheme Information


  • Back to Backs
  • Multi-Aspect Apartments
  • Innovative House Types
  • Maisonettes
  • Mansion Block
  • Mews
  • Detached
  • Semi-detached
  • Terrace
  • Town house


  • Medium density
  • Low density
  • Compact


  • Affordable
  • Private Ownership
  • Shared Ownership
  • Mixed Tenure


  • Large New Settlements
  • Community Consultation


  • Brickwork
  • Contemporary Design
  • Modern methods
  • Off-site


  • Managing water use and run off (eg SuDS or water recycling)
  • Biodiversity (eg Building with Nature)
  • Car usage or Active Travel (inc Building for a Healthy Life)

Outdoor areas

  • Private Terraces
  • Roof Terrace
  • Outside Terrace
  • Biodiversity
  • Garden

Surrounding Area

  • Healthy Streets
  • Landscape
  • Communal Spaces
  • Play Spaces
  • POS
  • Public open space


  • Wheelchair


Sustainability is a key element of the design. We designed individual buildings, as well as the overall masterplan, to help reduce the predicted effects of climate change, addressing issues arising from higher summertime temperatures and intense rainfall. We took a holistic approach and considered a range of environmental, economic and social issues including: improved wellbeing for occupants, pedestrian and child-friendly design, passive design principles, natural ventilation and daylighting, reduced construction costs and waste through efficient use of materials, a ‘fabric first’ approach to minimise energy use and address fuel poverty, allowances for future sustainability requirements, renewable energy in the form of solar panels, and opportunities for social interaction such as food growing and play spaces. All homes are designed to achieve Code for Sustainable Homes (CfSH) level 4 or current equivalent. The apartments are dual aspect, allowing cross ventilation and reducing the potential for overheating. The proposed apartment buildings are of a shallow depth, reducing the need for artificial lighting and mechanical ventilation, and thereby reducing energy demands. Window openings have been sized and located to maximise both orientation and views. Design features such as solar shading and deep window reveals are incorporated to avoid overheating. The proposal maximises communal amenity space which offers an opportunity for planting, as well as sustainable drainage systems that will benefit nature and the community. We have sought to ensure that streets have ample space for trees, planting and rain gardens to create a pleasant outdoor environment throughout the year. Water efficient appliances and fixtures will assist in reducing both demand and usage, while surface water drainage has been designed for a 1-in-100-year storm event with a 40% allowance for climate change.