Great Kneighton

BBUK have worked across several development phases at Great Kneighton, on the southern fringes of Cambridge.

In 2009 BBUK were appointed to work from stages 1 – 6 at Abode, for Countryside Properties.  This was Phase 1 of the Great Kneighton development comprising 2700 new homes on the southern fringe of Cambridge with 40% affordable housing throughout.

The landscaping has been designed to create a clear sense of identity and hierarchy to the streets, public realm and open spaces surrounding the new homes. A large existing road sits in the centre of the site this has mass plantings of Cornus chosen for their coloured winter stems. Sustainable urban drainage has been incorporated throughout the site with the use of rain gardens and porous paving.

Following the successful delivery of Phase 1 (Abode), BBUK were invited to work with Tate Hindle Architects for Phase 2, or Aura at Great Kneighton which comprises 229 homes over 5.2ha and forms part of the masterplan to develop 2,300 new homes.

A formal pocket park and community orchard sit in the centre of the site, whilst a more natural linear park runs down the western edge, with an existing hedgerow at its heart. The streets and public spaces have SUDs features, rills, rain gardens and an attenuation pond, which contributes towards the ecological strategy whilst providing linear street side plantings throughout the site. BBUK have since been appointed on a further four parcels of housing on the Great Kneighton site.

The next residential phase at Great Kneighton comprises the development of Parcels 8A and 8B providing approximately 251 new apartments and houses. All of the new homes in Parcel 8A look out onto Garden Square, a communal space with a children’s play area planted with a mix of shrubs and herbaceous plants designed to provide seasonal interest throughout the year. Several English Oak trees are planted as legacy tree species, maturing into big specimens. The lawns are being overseeded with a species-rich mixture, and all planting is 80% native and wildlife beneficial.

Parcel 8B is under construction and once finished in mid-2022 will complete Hobsons Square urban centre, connecting Water Meadow, a semi-dry SUDs basin to the existing network of historical ditches leading to Hobson’s Brook, Hobsons Walk with its avenue of trees and Hobson’s Park located to the east of Great Kneighton.

A variety of play areas were designed to appeal to all generations of the new residents; a boules court and musical play are installed on the southern parcels; two table tennis tables and multi-age climbing equipment have been placed in the central square, and a communal apple orchard was planted in the northern open space. Other areas are designed to encourage wildlife and create beautiful spaces for the residents.

Other designers involved in the design of landscape: Proctor Matthews (Abode), Tate Hindle (Aura)

Landscape Architecture: BBUK

Project Location: Cambridge

Design year: 2015 – ongoing

Year Built: 2015 – ongoing

Photographer: Tim Crocker & Tim Soar

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