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Lower Cambourne scene, Cambs - - 51205.jpg
Cambourne housing
Grid reference: TL318598
Location: 52°13’12"N, 0°4’12"W
Population: 7,600
Post town: Cambridge
Postcode: CB23
Dialling code: 01954
Local Government
Council: South Cambridgeshire
South Cambridgeshire

Cambourne is a new village in Cambridgeshire, west of Cambridge. The village stands by the A428 road between Cambridge, 9 miles to the east, and St Neots and Bedford to the west. It was developed from 1994 to take Cambridge overspill. Initially in the Parish of Bourn, its name is an artificial combination of 'Cambridge' and 'Bourn'.

The development consists of three villages named Great Cambourne, Lower Cambourne and Upper Cambourne. The final population is expected to be around 10,000.[1] Cambourne has recently been used by government departments and in school geography lessons as it provides a useful case study of designing and building a settlement from scratch.

The population was approximately 7,600 in 2009.[2]


As part of plans to build thousands of new homes in the south-eastern counties, a new settlement on 400 ha of former agricultural land, nine miles west of Cambridge was considered in the late 1980s. In 1994 the Planning Obligation Agreement was completed by the developers (McA), the local authority, and the landholders. The new settlement was to be constructed by three of Britain's leading house builders, Bovis Homes, Bryant Homes and Taylor Wimpey. Planning permission for the development at Monkfield Park was given in November 1996, while construction began in June 1998,on what was previously farmland.

The plan has been for completion between 2008 and 2014.

The existing planning permission allows 3,300 homes in the development, and planning permission was granted for a further 950 homes on 3 October 2011.[3]

Cambourne was initially going to be named Monkfield after the name of the original farm, which is commemorated by a Monkfield Lane in Great Cambourne and the village pub, The Monkfield Arms. The name of the community was created from the names of Cambridge and Bourn, the village close to which it was built.

The village was founded in Bourn parish, but in 2004 a new civil parish of Cambourne was created for the new village.

About the village

Cambourne library and health centre
Morrisons supermarket

Some facilities were built in Cambourne as part of the initial development. These include a supermarket and petrol station, a medical practice, a dentist, a veterinary practice, allotments, a pub- The Monkfield Arms, owned by Pathfinder Pubs and a hotel, The Cambridge Belfry, run by QHotels.

The High Street in Cambourne has been developed further with a fish and chip shop, Domino's pizza shop, several estate agents, a Ladbrokes bookmaker, a building society branch, a dry cleaner, a bicycle shop, a coffee shop, a Chinese takeaway, an Indian restaurant and a pharmacy with a Post Office counter. An initial summary of future plans for the High Street development was presented by Newcrest Developments at a Parish Council planning meeting on 24 January 2012. This suggested that a 3-stage process could begin at the start of 2013 with a couple of larger retail units being built beside the Morrisons roundabout. Stage 2 could see a row of smaller shops and a larger convenience store located on land opposite The Monkfield Arms. The final stage could see a couple of medium-sized stores positioned on the barren land beside the medical practice.

In 2008/9, the local constabulary announced the building of a new Police Station in the village which opened in 2010.

The Monkfield Arms

In May 2011, Cambourne Fire Station was completed on Back Lane, adjacent to the Police Station. There will however be no serving Fire Fighters or Fire Engine until the Papworth Everard Fire Station is no longer deemed necessary.

Cambourne Business Park is located to the north east of Great Cambourne and is the home of South Cambridgeshire District Council, which relocated there in 2004, from its old home in Cambridge. Environmental facilities include an educational 'Eco Park' which is home to a variety of plant, bird and mammal life and a 'Country Park' covering 80 acres, partially opened in 2001, situated between Lower and Great Cambourne.


Various sports clubs are located in the villages, including football, rugby, tennis, netball and cricket clubs with their own pitches.

Cambourne Cricket Club was formed in 2003 by Jason Clatworthy and Paul Cooke but did not begin playing competitive cricket until 2006 due to delays to the delivery and maturity of playing facilities. The club has enjoyed a sustained period of growth since its inception, culminating in the award of ECB Clubmark status in 2008 which demonstrates proven higher levels of organisation, management, coaching and safety.

The senior football club is Cambourne Rovers FC, whose Saturday side plays in the Cambridgeshire Football League BIS Division 1a. A reserve team has also been entered into Division 5a for the 2008–09 season. CRFC is further represented by a Sunday league team, competing in the Halls of Cambridge Sunday League Division 4B.[4]

The largest junior club is called Cambourne FC, with a Soccer School for U6, two U7 teams in playing in the Hunts Mini League, two U8 teams, two U9, U10 and U11 team playing in the Cambs Mini League. The club also has one U12, U13, U14 and a U16 team playing in the Cambs Colts league. Cambourne F.C has also set up a Soccer School for children under the age of 7 years old.[5]

Cambourne Exiles Rugby Club was formed in 2005 when some of the villagers decided to form a rugby-related social group. The first game was on 26 November 2005, against Saffron Walden 3. The team have grown to be a competent threes-level team. After the first season of friendly matches, in 2006 the team joined the Greene King Merit League.

A new sports pavilion was completed in September 2011 on the playing fields off Back Lane, Greater Cambourne. This has multi-changing facilities for the Football and Rugby pitches and a maintenance shed for the Parish Council. In November 2011, the second-floor bar was opened as Cambourne Sports and Social Club.[6]

Cambourne Fitness and Sports Centre

Cambourne Fitness and Sports Centre was officially opened on 4 December 2011 on Back Lane, Great Cambourne by England international footballer Darren Bent, Great British gymnast Beth Tweddle and Great British Paralympic swimmer Harriet Lee. Costing around £2million it has a large sports hall, dance studio, juice bar and large gym. It is run by leisure firm Everyone Active with a profits share going to Cambourne Parish Council.


The original Cambourne masterplan included space for a Church located at the east end of the High Street, which ultimately resulted in a church joinly for the Church of England, the Baptists, the Methodist Church and the United Reformed Church working together to form the Local Ecumenical Partnership called Cambourne Church.[7]

In late 1999, as the first homes became occupied, the church was already open. The first full-time residential minister was appointed in early 2001. The waiting room of the doctor's surgery (now the dentists) became the first meeting place. Before funds to build the permanent Church Centre were raised, an old Portacabin classroom was reconditioned by local residents and placed on the corner of Eastgate and Jeavons Lane opposite the planned Church site. It became the first community building available for Cambourne residents, opening as The Ark in 2002. This quickly became a home to a wide variety of community groups.

Phase One of Cambourne Church Centre was completed at a cost of £1.1million in late 2009 and officially opened by the Duke of Gloucester on 13 July 2010. The building has a tall barn-like design, aiming to be accessible, welcoming and environmentally sustainable. With only the first phase completed the main hall accommodates up to 150 patrons, as well as providing space for public and private events.

As well as the Cambourne Church congregation, Roman Catholic and Indian Orthodox congregations also regularly meet in the church centre.

An Independent Baptist church was started in 2006 and meets at the Cambourne Community Centre (The Hub).[8]

Big Society

Cambourne has several art, hobbyist and cultural clubs and societies, many of these catering to specific interests of the community like painting, music, photography, gardening etc. and many that are broader in nature.

The Cambourne Cultural Society was set up in 2010 with the vision of creating a platform for celebrating the culture, music and dance of the diaspora from the subcontinent. It has now grown to over 100 members, with memberships open to anyone who have an interest in the culture and arts of the sub-continent. The society members hold frequent gatherings, mostly for celebrating Indian festivals like Diwali, Navratri etc. accompanied with dance, music and food of the subcontinent.

360° Panoramic view of Cambourne from Crow Hill

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Cambourne)