Major milestone for biggest New Town proposed since Milton Keynes

2 February 2012

Northstowe, the major new town planned for the north west of Cambridge, reaches a significant milestone today as the planning application is submitted for a first phase of 1500 new homes and related facilities.

In addition, a refreshed Northstowe-wide framework master plan has also been submitted which provides an updated approach to the planning and delivery of the new town. This framework master plan will continue to ensure that Phase One and subsequent phases are wholly integrated.

The application and master plan follow some intense public consultation last October (2011) where the Joint Promoters of Northstowe - Gallagher and the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), asked the public for their views prior to working up the proposals.  The greatest number of comments about the plans related to the need for the A14 to be upgraded and reducing congestion.    

In the Autumn Statement* which followed, however, George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer, pledged cash for ‘improvement to the A14 between Huntingdon and Cambridge’*.  The commitment was to invest £20 million** immediately on the A14, plus engaging in the A14 Challenge*** which states it will look at long-term improvements to the A14 and key routes around it.   This is positive news for the project.

Phase One is located at the northern end of the proposed area, adjacent to Longstanton Park & Ride on the Cambridgeshire Guided Busway.  It will provide 1500 new homes and a number of local and strategic facilities for the town including a primary school, sports hub and other areas of open space, a local centre with shops and community uses and a site for a Household Recycling Centre.  The land for Phase One is under the control of Gallagher.

Alan Joyner, Executive Director of Gallagher Estates says: “Northstowe will be built to high sustainability standards and will make an important contribution to the provision of market and affordable housing and economic growth in South Cambridgeshire. We are looking forward to continuing the positive dialogue we have had with the local authorities and local communities and we will all be working towards the planning application being determined before the end of the year.”

Steve Collins, Head of Area for the HCA says: “The Joint Promoters are confident that Northstowe can be delivered and have adopted a new phased approach to delivering housing as part of the comprehensive development of the wider vision for Northstowe as a new community. Gallagher submitting the Phase One application is fully supported by the HCA as it is part of the revised master plan for the whole site, the majority of which HCA owns.  It’s therefore a major milestone for the project as a whole.

“We remain committed to delivering Northstowe with all the benefits it will bring to the local and wider area and together the Joint Promoters will be working together on preliminary plans for a Phase Two over the summer, whilst also making ourselves available to support our local authority partners through their statutory consultation as necessary with technical advice.”

Ends

For more media info about the HCA please contact Emma Drake, Communications Manager, HCA on 01223 374008 / 07775 550847 emma.drake@hca.gsx.gov.uk

Note to Editors
*The Autumn Statement, table 2.3 autumn infrastructure spend.  A table of spend across the East of England is contained in 1.97, fig 1.1.

** The Autumn Statement, page 53; A.3 – A14 Immediate investment
A.3 A14 immediate investment – The Government will invest £20 million to reduce
congestion on the A14 including measures to improve junctions and increase resilience.

*** The Autumn Statement, page 53, A.4 – 14 Challenge
A.4 A14 challenge – The Government will examine ways to increase the long-term capacity and performance of the A14 with the launch in early December 2011 of a large-scale engagement programme: ‘the A14 Challenge’. By spring 2012, it will have developed and assessed proposals including capacity enhancements on the Fen Ditton to Ellington section of the road. The Government will also look at the scope to relieve congestion by improving other modes including local roads, freight facilities and public transport. It will consider whether improvements can be funded through innovative financing mechanisms including tolling.  This work will support the proposed development of new homes in Northstowe, Waterbeach and Alconbury. The Government will also consider tolls to fund other road infrastructure if appropriate

The Homes and Communities Agency and Gallagher have been working together as Joint Promoters of Northstowe since the beginning of 2006.

Northstowe will provide up to 10,000 new homes and related facilities on the old RAF Oakington Barracks site and surrounding land of approximately 480ha.  The delivery of Northstowe with housing, employment, commercial and recreational facilities will make an important contribution to the economic growth of the Cambridge area.   

Gallagher is one of the UK’s largest master developers, promoting and delivering residential and mixed use schemes across the country. In addition to Northstowe, Gallagher is currently promoting another new town in Bedford (The Wixams), and six other new communities in South Midlands/East of England growth areas.

The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) is the single, national housing and regeneration delivery agency for England.  Our vision is to create opportunity for people to live in homes they can afford in places they want to live, by enabling local authorities and communities to deliver the ambition they have for their own areas.  

For more information visit the HCA newsroom at homesandcommunities.co.uk/newsevent