Demolition works progressing at Devonshire Gardens BTR

Paving the way for the Devonshire Gardens development, Railpen, Socius and TRD have officially commenced demolition works on-site.

Demolition works have commenced at the Devonshire Gardens Build to Rent development in Cambridge | Railpen | Socius | Total Reclaims Demolition (TRD) | BTR News
Demolition works have commenced at the Devonshire Gardens Build to Rent development in Cambridge.

Mixed-use developer Socius and the investment manager for the £37bn railways pension schemes Railpen have announced that regenerative works at the Devonshire Gardens Build to Rent development in Cambridge have begun. 

Total Reclaims Demolition (TRD) is the contractor appointed by Railpen and Socius to deliver the demolition works during the first phase, which commenced in November last year. Preparatory activities on-site also began, including ongoing ground surveys and the removal of necessary elements.

Preparatory activities will continue this month. The demolition works will follow on and are scheduled to last for approximately 12 weeks. TRD have put measures in place to safeguard nearby residents and commercial occupiers from excessive noise, dust, and other environmental effects.

Planning approval for Devonshire Gardens was granted by Cambridge City Council in Q3 2022. The scheme, designed by Buckley Gray Yeoman, will transform a three-acre site previously used as a Travis Perkins depot into a new neighbourhood comprising 120,000 sq ft of modern, wellbeing-focused workspace, 70 Build to Rent homes, and community facilities including a creche, pavilion and flexible studios, all set around a landscaped public park.

The workspace at Devonshire Gardens will be delivered across two new buildings designed to meet the needs of corporates and fast-growing businesses, providing a range of flexible floorplates and adaptable spaces for collaboration.

The new homes will comprise a mix of apartments, with 20% affordable in line with local policy. The homes are designed to meet the city’s net-zero carbon ambitions and will be powered by electricity from renewable sources with no reliance on fossil fuels.

The buildings will be connected by a landscaped public park featuring over 120 trees, hundreds of new plant species, and a community food garden. The scheme will also create new walkways and cycle paths, improving connectivity to Cambridge rail station and supporting the vision for Devonshire Gardens to be a majority car-free neighbourhood.

In a bid to remain environmentally friendly and reduce waste, as much of the materials from the demolition phase will be reused in the new development. The contractor’s aim is that less than 5% of the existing building material will be disposed of following the demolition process, accounting for materials no longer safe for usage, such as asbestos and RAAC (Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete).

TRD will recycle up to 95% of all the materials from the project including wood, bricks, windows, plastics and metals. Where possible, materials like raised access floors and bricks will be reused at Devonshire Gardens with steelwork, bricks and concrete being recycled and reused in the construction of buildings and roads.

The Devonshire Gardens Build to Rent scheme will be delivered in accordance with the One Planet Living principles and will increase biodiversity on the site by over 350%. Utilising the Natural Cambridgeshire toolkit, TRD, Railpen and Socius will ensure that the development has been designed to support Cambridge City Council’s Climate Change Strategy.