Countryside Properties, the housebuilder, is to sell the remainder of its award-winning Accordia site in Cambridge after the departure of Kajima, its contractor on the PFI-led housing project
The housebuilder has developed 173 affordable and private homes on the former DEFRA site, and picked up a string of awards for the design quality of the scheme, including a Housing Design Award in July.
It had intended to build out the site by developing 200 more homes, but it is now looking to sell the remaining land. The decision follows the departure of Kajima UK from the scheme at the end of last year.
Chris Crook, Countryside Properties managing director, said of the situation: “I’d like to have developed the remainder of the site, but this has become complicated, especially as we entered a joint venture with an organisation called Apollo when work began on site.”
The housebuilder has written to homebuyers at Accordia to reassure them that the remainder of the site will be developed according to the original design, albeit not by Countryside.
Crook added: “I am confident that we have set the mould with the first phase here and the remainder of the site has detailed planning permission so any other developer will follow that.”
I’d like to have developed the remainder of the site, but it’s become complicated
Crook said that the housebuilder had already had an “attractive proposition” for the site and was considering it.
The Accordia site is being developed as the result of a PFI deal under which Kajima developed a new office for DEFRA.
Under the arrangement, DEFRA’s office campus was released for development. Kajima brought Countryside on board because of its inexperience in UK housebuilding.
Sources close to Kajima say the contractor left the housing project after it failed to complete the first phase of the scheme on time. The initial plan had been that Kajima would build the rest of the scheme.
• Countryside Properties has increased its stake in the £60,000 home scheme that it is developing for English Partnerships. The developer has taken over the housing for sale element of the 37 home scheme, which is being developed on a 0.5 ha site at Dartford, Kent.