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North West Cambridge development

  (Redirected from Eddington, Cambridge)

Coordinates: 52°13′5″N 0°5′15″E / 52.21806°N 0.08750°E / 52.21806; 0.08750

Eddington market square

The North West Cambridge Development is a University of Cambridge site to the north west of Cambridge city centre in England. The development is meant to alleviate overcrowding and rising land prices in Cambridge.[1] The first phase resulted from a £350 million investment by the university. The development opened to the public for the Open Cambridge event on 9 September 2017.[2]



The 150-hectare (370-acre) site covers the area between the M11 motorway, Madingley Road and Huntingdon Road. The area previously contained farms belonging to the university.[3]

Outline planning permission for the North-West Cambridge Development or University Farm site was granted in 2013. This covers up to 3,000 dwellings, up to 2,000 student bedspaces, 100,000 m2 (1,100,000 sq ft) employment floorspace (commercial and academic), retail floorspace, a community centre, health care centre, a primary school and nurseries, a hotel and an energy centre.[4]

The development sets out to achieve high levels of sustainability, including many photovoltaic cells to gather solar energy, low levels of car use, a district heating network with energy centre scheme, communal waste collection systems,[5] and the recycling of rainwater for irrigation and the flushing of toilets.[6][7][8]

Architecture practices involved in the development include: WilkinsonEyre, Mole Architects, Stanton Williams, Mecanoo, Sarah Wigglesworth Architects, RH Partnership, Marks Barfield Architects, MUMA, Maccreanor Lavington, and Witherford Watson Mann.


Eddington is the name given by developers to a local centre in the North West Cambridge Development,[9] after Cambridge astrophysicist Arthur Eddington,[10] who led an expedition to the island of Príncipe to photograph the solar eclipse of May 29, 1919 and verify Einstein's General Theory of Relativity.[11] It is part of Phase I of the North West Cambridge Development, and combines the Castle Ward in the north-west of the city, and Girton parish of South Cambridgeshire district.

In 2018, a very large Roman villa was excavated on the site of Eddington, next to its Park & Ride scheme.[12]

Eddington is centred around Market Square, with a 2,000 m2 (22,000 sq ft) Sainsbury's supermarket.[2] Its one school, the University of Cambridge Primary School, opened in 2015, occupies a toroidal building – shaped like a Polo mint – by Marks Barfield.[13] The Storey's Field community centre and nursery is adjacent and was nominated for the 2018 Stirling Prize. Graduate students of Girton College are housed at Swirles Court.[1]

An energy centre provides a district heating system, while a sustainable urban drainage system channels rainwater via bioswales to the artificial Brook Leys lake between the site and the M11 motorway. The water is pumped back into homes for washing through a non-potable network.[10]

The Fata Morgana Tea House by German artists Wolfgang Winter and Berthold Hörbelt sits on the western bank of Brook Leys lake. Except for the roof, almost the entire two-storey pavilion, including built-in benches, was made from undulating stainless steel welded grating.[10] Depending on light conditions, its polished surfaces can appear shiny or see-through.[14]

These photographs were taken in September 2017:


The site is served by the Go Whippet Universal bus. Madingley Road Park and Ride lies to the south of Eddington. The Ridgeway, a cycle and pedestrian path runs through the site from Girton to Storey's Way.[10]

Eddington has road access to Madingley Road on its south side and Huntingdon Road on the north-east side.[15]


  • 2009: Area Action Plan adopted by Cambridge City and South Cambridgeshire District Councils. This states:
    • "North West Cambridge will create a new University quarter, which will contribute to meeting the needs of the wider city community, and which will embody best practice in environmental sustainability."[15]
  • February 2013: Outline planning permission for North West Cambridge development.[16]
  • June 2014: Name of Eddington announced, in honour of Sir Arthur Eddington who lived and worked nearby. Other names announced within North West Cambridge are open spaces Brook Leys and Storey's Field, and residential areas Ridgeway Village and Gravel Hill.[9][17]
  • July 2017: the first residents move in to Eddington.[20]

Future developmentEdit

Eddington will include 700 University key-worker residences, 325 postgraduate student rooms, the market square with Sainsbury's and local shops, the energy centre and the health centre,[23] and a hotel.[24]

The North West Cambridge Development is planned to eventually contain 3,000 homes, accommodation for 2,000 postgraduate students and 100,000 m2 (1,100,000 sq ft) of research facilities.[1] The energy centre will be used to produce electricity as electrical demand grows.[10]


  1. ^ a b c "North West Cambridge: a model for affordable urban housing?". The Guardian. Retrieved 11 September 2017.
  2. ^ a b "Take a tour of Eddington, Cambridge's newest neighbourhood". Cambridge News. Retrieved 13 September 2017.
  3. ^ Clare Melhuish. "University of Cambridge:North West Cambridge Development, A new urban district on former green belt land". UCL Urban Laboratory. Retrieved 25 October 2017.
  4. ^ "Decision Notice 11/1114/OUT" (PDF). Cambridge City Council. 22 February 2013. Retrieved 2017-09-10.[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ "Going underground – unique way to recycle". North West Cambridge Development. 26 July 2017. Archived from the original on 2017-09-10. Retrieved 2017-09-10.
  6. ^ Rowan Moore (10 September 2017). "North West Cambridge: a model for affordable urban housing?". The Guardian. Retrieved 2017-09-10.
  7. ^ "Exemplary sustainable practice". North West Cambridge Development. 2015. Archived from the original on 2015-03-12. Retrieved 2017-09-10.
  8. ^ "North-West Cambridge: Sustainability Statement" (PDF). September 2011. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2017-09-10. Retrieved 2017-09-10.
  9. ^ a b "New local centre to be named Eddington". North West Cambridge Development. 26 June 2014. Archived from the original on 2017-09-10. Retrieved 2017-09-10.
  10. ^ a b c d e "North West Cambridge: The birth of city's new community". Cambridge Independent. Retrieved 11 September 2017.
  11. ^ Longair, Malcolm (2015-04-13). "Bending space–time: a commentary on Dyson, Eddington and Davidson (1920) 'A determination of the deflection of light by the Sun9s gravitational field'". Phil. Trans. R. Soc. A. 373 (2039): 20140287. doi:10.1098/rsta.2014.0287. ISSN 1364-503X. PMC 4360090. PMID 25750149.
  12. ^
  13. ^ "How to design a primary school where learning has no limits". The Guardian. 17 March 2015.
  14. ^ "Western Edge – Winter / Hörbelt Commission". Contemporary Art Society. Retrieved 13 September 2017.
  15. ^ a b "North West Cambridge Area Action Plan". Cambridge City Council. Retrieved 27 October 2017.
  16. ^ "Outline Planning Consent – North West Cambridge Development". Retrieved 27 October 2017.
  17. ^ "Naming". North West Cambridge Development. Archived from the original on 2017-08-23. Retrieved 2017-09-11.
  18. ^ "Official Opening of the Primary School". North West Cambridge Development. 26 September 2016. Archived from the original on 2017-01-10. Retrieved 2017-01-10.
  19. ^ "Girton College embraces Eddington". North West Cambridge Development. 12 June 2017. Archived from the original on 2017-09-10. Retrieved 2017-01-10.
  20. ^ "First residents move into Eddington". North West Cambridge Development. 7 July 2017. Archived from the original on 2017-09-10. Retrieved 2017-01-10.
  21. ^ Chris Elliott (6 September 2017). "Sainsbury's opens at Cambridge's newest suburb Eddington – and it's got a pizza oven!". Cambridge News. Archived from the original on 2017-09-06. Retrieved 2017-01-10.
  22. ^ "Universal: the University bus for everyone". Go Whippet. Retrieved 2017-01-10.
  23. ^ "Focus on Phase One". North West Cambridge Development. Nos. 1, 2, 3, 5 & 8 on Lot Plan. Archived from the original on 2017-08-23. Retrieved 2017-09-11.
  24. ^ "Hotel Opportunity on the North West Cambridge Development". North West Cambridge Development. Archived from the original on 2017-09-11. Retrieved 2017-09-11.

External linksEdit