Developer forced to tear down £40m of Cambridge homes will replace them to latest building regs

A developer forced to tear down and rebuild 88 homes which could have sold for £40m has opposed council claims that the replacements would not be built to the latest building regulations.

Dozens of properties on the Darwin Green site in Cambridge had to be knocked down because of defects.

Cambridge City Council said the new properties would not meet the latest building regulations, and were taking legal advice.

Developer Barratt and David Wilson Homes insist that the rebuilt homes will be compliant.

A spokesperson said: "Although we have planning permission to build the homes at BDW 2 (Darwin Green) to the older building regulations, we have taken the decision to build all new homes there, not currently under construction, to the new Part F, L and O building regulations. "This investment by us will deliver multiple benefits including decreased carbon emissions and more thermally-efficient homes for our customers, helping to reduce their energy bills."

It was revealed last summer there were problems with the foundations of some of the homes in the second phase of the development. The developer said at the time the properties "did not meet its usual high standards".

The developer began work to demolish the 88 impacted properties – some fully and some partially constructed – at the site on the edge of the city earlier this year.

It was initially reported that 36 newly built houses were impacted by the issue and needed to be demolished, but a council report later revealed 88 fully and partially built properties were impacted.

Councillor Simon Smith submitted a question to Cambridge City Council’s planning and transport scrutiny committee this week, highlighting new building regulations had been introduced.

He asked whether the developer had said if it would be building the replacement homes in accordance with the new regulations, which he said provided for “better ventilation, conservation of fuel and power and mitigation of overheating”.

Katie Thornburrow, executive councillor for planning, building control and infrastructure, said the developer had told the city council it was not planning to meet these new regulations.

She said: “3C Building Control, the council’s shared in-house building control service, are in the process of taking legal advice as to our next steps.”

The Darwin Green development will comprise around 1,500 homes when finished.

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