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Cambridge City Council

Statement on BDW2 development site, Darwin Green

9 June 2023

The below statement was issued in response to enquiries from the media about the BDW2 development site in Darwin Green, on 8 June:

A council spokesperson said: "Cambridge City Council was recently made aware of failures to the foundations currently being constructed at the BDW2 development site in Darwin Green, Cambridge, by Barratt David Wilson Homes Cambridgeshire (BDW).

"Planning permission had previously been given for the construction of these properties, and BDW appointed a private company as building control provider to oversee the scheme*. The council was not appointed as building control provider for this development. 

"Council officers have met with the Managing Director of BDW to understand the scale of the issue and to agree potential next steps. The council has received information from BDW which identifies a number of plots at various stages of the construction process that are affected by foundation failure, none of which are understood to be occupied. 

"Cambridge City Council’s view is that planning permission will be required for works to demolish these structures and has advised the developer that an application for full planning permission should be submitted to the local planning authority.   

"The developer will be encouraged to work with officers to agree the details which will need to form part of any planning application submission, and the timeframe for the demolition or remediation works. 

"Although not appointed as building control provider for this development by BDW, the council’s shared building control service, 3C Building Control, is the local enforcing body, so will now look to work with the local community and the site developer to ensure the next phase of works are compliant with building regulations. 

"As part of the planning application process, there will be a period of public consultation which will enable nearby residents and members of the public to raise any issues they may have relating to the development.  

"The council will also work with the local community and site developer, to ensure that any impacts of the potential demolition works are appropriately controlled."

Update on 9 June:

"3C Building Control colleagues have confirmed that a Demolition Notice has now been received; officers will be carrying out site inspections during the demolition phase. The council’s Chief Executive and Joint Director of Planning will also be meeting with BDW’s Regional Director next week."

*People have a choice to use either local authority building control (a council’s in house building control team, such as 3C Building Control) or a private building control body, known as an Approved Inspector, to control building works. 

However, only the local authority building control (LABC) has the power of enforcement, so if there are problems with a build, a private Approved Inspector has to hand it over to the LABC.