Our story

Waterbeach Barracks has a rich history, which has been shaped by the people living and working there for centuries. This is reflected in the landscape and features, and in the many physical and emotional connections it has with the communities that surround it. The future vision has drawn on these to enhance the unique legacy we have inherited and reimagine it for 21st Century sustainable living.

Image
Image

From Roman times, Waterbeach was a popular location

Our modern connections draw on two important Roman transport links, The Car Dyke Roman Canal and the Roman road, Akeman Street. Our new cycle route follows the historic route of Akeman Street and Mere Way to connect directly to the main employment centre at the north of Cambridge City. Car Dyke forms part of the site-wide water systems – our blue corridors - that are part of reflecting historic Fen edge landscape, connecting people to one of our most vital resources, and providing habitats for nature to thrive.

The historic Causeway 

Image

For Centuries this land was farmed and formed part of the landscape between Denny Abbey to the north and Waterbeach Abbey to the south of St Johns Church Waterbeach, which were connected by a historic Causeway. That Causeway route – trod for centuries by monks and nuns from the Abbey, and later by farmers moving goods to the village – has formed the central walk and cycle spine that runs through the core of the development, reconnecting the links severed by the military use of the airfield in 1939. The Causeway is central to the vision of a walk and cycle first community.

The Royal Engineers at Waterbeach

Image

The richest of all legacies at Waterbeach is from the Royal Engineers who shaped the landscape of the current site from the late 1960s onwards.

Capturing the footprint of history from the site’s military heritage, has been an important focus of the work to date. The re-opening of the Waterbeach Military Heritage Museum and Memorial Garden is reflection of our early commitment. This will be taken forward with enhancements to the Memorial Garden as part of the future Runway parkland – a landscape design which will providing a series of green spaces along the runway alignment, rich in heritage interpretation and with aspects of commemoration to 99 and 514 Squadrons and all the RAF personnel who served at RAF Waterbeach.

Opening up the lake

Image

This incredible man made landscape includes The 23 acre lake, created in the 1970s, and surrounded by mature trees, dominates the first phase of development. The training for amphibious landings and recreational fishing for soldiers on down time, have long gone, with the two islands now providing homes for Kingfishers and rare bats, as pondskaters dash across the surface. The lake will provide a dynamic hub of leisure and recreation, overlooked by cafes, bars and shops, with water sports and walking and cycling loops around it, with areas of quieter reflection, leisurely walks and hides to sit quietly and watch nature through the changing seasons.

Working with the Ministry of Defence, the Urban&Civic team have been shaping the future vision for the development with local partners and communities over the last few years. Now – with the Outline Planning Application and plans for the first phase consented – we are moving into delivery. We will continue to work with partners, as each phase of the development comes forward to detailed design and delivery and the next chapter begins for this amazing place.

Image

Explore Waterbeach Barracks

Image

Discover the latest news and updates at Waterbeach Barracks.

Image

Waterbeach Barracks is about creating a new way of living, explore our vision.

Image

Enjoy our interactive story and hear authentic sounds recorded at Waterbeach Barracks ..

Keep up to date with what is happening at Waterbeach Barracks - directly to your inbox