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The largest new planned town since Milton Keynes reaches another major milestone today as outline plans are submitted.
The outline plans for the ‘heart’ of Northstowe including the town centre, secondary school, two primary schools and approximately 3,500 new homes as well as new roads, employment and recreational areas have been submitted by the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) to the planning authority.
The submission of the outline planning application for the second major phase of development follows extensive public consultation on the proposals in spring of this year by the HCA. It is also hot-on-the-heels of outline planning consent being approved in April 2014 for the first phase of 1500 new homes, a primary school, a sports hub, a local centre with shops and community uses and a site for a Household Recycling Centre.
Paul Kitson, Senior Project Manager at the HCA for Northstowe says:
Things are definitely happening at Northstowe. We want to make sure the foundations are laid for a solid community to develop. As part of this we have adopted a ‘phased’ approach to development where facilities and road improvements are built hand-in-hand at each stage with new homes. The outline plans submitted today are further proof of that and, if approved, we look forward to working with local communities to develop further details to these outline plans.
The responses from the consultation in spring raised both challenges for us to look at further and also gave us confidence that our plans were along the right lines. We will of course continue to make ourselves available to support the local authority partners through their formal and statutory consultation process as necessary with technical advice should local people have further questions that need answering.
Preparatory work has recently started at Northstowe for the first primary school and first phase of new homes. Gallagher Estates are responsible for the first phase of development at Northstowe.
Alan Joyner, Executive Director of Gallagher Estates says:
This planning application complements phase one and we are pleased that it includes the secondary school, additional primary schools, town centre, sports and community facilities which will create the next stage of a comprehensive overall development for a thriving new community. Northstowe will become an attractive destination for investment in homes, employment and leisure activities.
The HCA is the public body responsible for developing government-owned land, which includes the old airfield part of Northstowe. The outline planning application for this next phase of plans includes:
- approximately 3,500 new homes
- two primary schools, and a secondary school
- the town centre including an employment area
- significant recreation space and landscaped areas
- a new ‘eastern’ sports hub
- the remaining part of the ‘western’ sports hub (being built along with the new homes on the first phase)
- A detailed plan for a road extending out of phase two to the south, linking buses to the guided busway and cars to another new road which heads west to join the B1050 at the A14
The phase two proposals will also include two new large flood attenuation ponds to hold surface water from Northstowe as well as detailed drainage plans to deal with the water from the site.
When complete, Northstowe will have up to 10,000 new homes and an anticipated population of around 24,400 people. It already benefits from a guided busway which runs alongside the development, and it will feature high quality transport links offering quick connections to the towns of Cambridge and St Ives, a secondary school operated by Cambridge Meridian Academies Trust, and a vibrant town centre, all offering plenty of employment opportunities for local people.
Preparatory work has started at Northstowe and the first homes could be sold and occupied as early as spring 2016.
Paul Kitson adds:
The phase two planning application will now be checked and validated over the next couple of weeks by South Cambridgeshire District Council’s planning department before the documents can be made available on their website and a formal consultation carried out by the Council in the Autumn.
Published: 22 July 2014