In a UK-first, developers First Base and investors Railpen have launched a Statement of Intent for Sustainable Food, in partnership with Bioregional and Cambridge Sustainable Food, for the proposed Devonshire Gardens site.
Submitted proposals for Devonshire Gardens will see the Travis Perkins builders’ yard on Devonshire Road transformed into a highly sustainable community with new homes, workspace and public amenities.
To achieve this, the project team has worked with charity Bioregional to apply the One Planet Living sustainable living framework which ensures that all aspects of life, whether work, play, food, or transport, respect the planet.
Food plays a key role in sustainability, impacting our wellbeing and the planet. Food is an important component of our society – a connector of people – and with the right strategy can help improve health, build a sense of community, tackle inequality and reduce environmental impact.
Working with Cambridge Sustainable Food, Devonshire Gardens seeks to be a place that invites people to grow, share, eat and learn about the food that is good for people and planet. Plans for the site therefore include private and community space to grow prepare and share food, including public infrastructure (such as composters) to help reduce waste. Plans to support sustainable food at Devonshire Gardens also include utilising technology and organising initiatives to raise awareness and build the networks required to reduce waste and share food.
Doug Higgins, Project Director, First Base, said: “We are very excited to be working on the UK’s first planning document with a sole focus on sustainable food. Hopefully this is the start of things to come as developers and the planning system should take sustainable food seriously when planning new places.
“Our vision is for Devonshire Gardens to be a place that invites you to grow, share, eat and learn about food that is good for you and good for the planet. We intend to do this by making space to grow food at Devonshire Gardens, with necessary support systems to keep this as low-impact as possible.
“The Intent is for the growing spaces and wider food infrastructure at Devonshire Gardens to be designed and managed in partnership with Cambridge Sustainable Food to provide for community, education and social activities.”
Sam Dyer MBE, CEO and Director of Cambridge Sustainable Food CIC said: “Food is essential to all of us and is key to our wellbeing, health and to the future of the planet. Cambridge Sustainable Food CIC believes that food is at the heart of community whether that’s through growing, sharing or eating together.
“We are very pleased to have worked on this Statement of Intent alongside Bioregional and First Base. We believe it is the first of its kind in the UK and we hope it sets the standard for future development in Cambridge and beyond. We are committed to the vision this Statement outlines and will work towards creating and facilitating sustainable food places that are good for us and good for the planet.”