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Cambridge City Council

Statement on Ekin Road housing estate

21 November 2023

In response to statements from local groups relating to the ongoing appraisal of options for the future of the Ekin Road housing estate in Cambridge, Cllr Gerri Bird, Executive Councillor for Housing and Homelessness, said:

“Since the project to explore possible options for the future of the Ekin Road estate began in 2021 we have been open with residents about the steps we have taken, and understanding of the concerns and issues people have raised. Throughout that time we’ve held regular meetings and consultation events with residents, and have sent regular updates to keep people up-to-date with latest proposals and developments, and people have been able to share their views with us in a variety of ways. This engagement and close liaison with residents is vital and will continue in the coming months.

“Over the last few weeks, independent canvassers have been visiting people’s homes, giving people another chance to say confidentially what they think of the three potential options for the estate – which are to retain the buildings as they are, along with repair and retrofitting work; to redevelop partially while retaining some properties; or full redevelopment of the estate. Whichever option is agreed on, housing at Ekin Road will remain council homes with the city council as landlord - the site will not be sold off for development by a private company.

“We have just today (Tuesday 21 Nov) received the initial headline findings from the independent surveys with residents, which saw an appointed company knocking on every door at Ekin Road to get feedback from households. More than half of the households that responded indicated that they supported redevelopment of the estate. We will be publishing full results from the survey once we have had time to fully analyse them, and the results will also be made available on the project website before the next Resident Liaison Group meeting.

“The reason we have been investigating possible refurbishment or redevelopment options for Ekin Road is that many of the properties there have ongoing maintenance issues and simply don’t meet modern standards for sustainability and accessibility.

“We’re committed to improving the condition of council-owned housing across the city and building new council homes so people can have modern, comfortable places to enjoy, with lower energy bills. Our ongoing council house building programme, which Ekin Road could become part of, will also ultimately also help tackle the climate emergency, particularly around energy use and sustainability in our properties.

“It’s important to stress again that nothing has been decided yet with regards to Ekin Road. The results of the current surveys will be presented to residents soon, and, along with other data collected and assessment of properties, will allow our independent assessors JLL to develop a draft report which residents will then have another chance to discuss with us at public events in the early months of next year.

“We know that the prospect of refurbishment or redevelopment of the estate has been unsettling for people at Ekin Road, but we need to take the time to examine all options carefully and listen to all residents’ opinions to see which option is going to be most beneficial for the most people. If partial development or extensive redevelopment is eventually recommended, the council would commit to increasing the number of council homes to ensure a balanced community.

“All council tenants and where possible, those owning their homes, would be given the opportunity to move back. We have a very experienced council team to help tenants find an alternative home elsewhere in Cambridge either temporarily or permanently, which will really suit their individual needs. Private home-owners in this situation would also be given compensation if partial or full redevelopment affecting them was approved. We would be happy to meet Unite and Cambridge Land Justice to discuss our ongoing commitment to building even more, much-needed council homes for Cambridge residents, and our approach to placemaking.”

NOTE: As well as the forthcoming public events and activities, residents and any other interested groups are welcome to contact the council at any time with questions or concerns at or by phoning 07563 421031. Residents can also contact their elected Tenant and Leaseholder representatives at

The executive councillor leading on this matter for Cambridge City Council is Gerri Bird (Labour), Executive Councillor for Housing and Homelessness. Spokespersons from the other political groups on this issue are Cllr Anthony Martinelli (Liberal Democrat), and Cllr Elliot Tong (Green/Independent Group).