Northstowe News

What do people think about Northstowe?

In late March, public and stakeholder opinions were sought on proposals for the Northstowe new town. Over 120 people offered their views on a range of key topics, including housing, education, ecology, heritage, employment and travel.

Paul Kitson, Senior Project Manager at the Homes and Communities Agency for Northstowe, sheds some light on the sort of suggestions that were made.

Consultation is an essential part of developing any housing scheme, so it goes without saying that it is of critical importance when you are creating an entire town. For Northstowe to be a success it needs to be informed and influenced by the people who will one day live, work and play there.

For that reason, I’d like to thank everyone who came to the consultation events and made suggestions. It was great that so many people came along to take part in the process. The feedback given to the project team will play a big role in how Northstowe looks in the future, directly helping to shape the next phase of development.

Housing was understandably a big point of interest. The importance of providing a variety of housing types, sizes and tenures was emphasised, as was the need for housing design to draw inspiration from existing local buildings and heritage. Preserving existing buildings, pillboxes and trees is already seen as vital to the scheme as these features will add to the overall feel of Northstowe and help link the new town’s past to its future.

Provision of facilities was also seen as having a major role in ensuring that the new town proves a success. Most respondents viewed a Northstowe doctor’s surgery as being essential, with a dentists, nursery, elderly day care, public house, cinema, shops, restaurants and supermarket all similarly desired by local people. The success of the town centre will rely upon such facilities being in place as they will bring people to Northstowe and help it thrive.

As well as primary and secondary schools, many people would like to see the new town get its own sixth form. Many local six forms are over-subscribed or underprovided in the local area, so a Northstowe sixth form would help attract and keep people in the area.

Many people highlighted the importance of green space within the development. Green areas that can be used for community events, fetes and carnivals would help build a sense of community, as would allotments.

Sustainable transport is important, too. Walking and cycling routes will be essential to ensuring residents take to active travel and making the most of the guided busway will help reduce traffic.

This is all just a taste of what people want to see from Northstowe. Further results from the consultation will be released in due course and plans will be updated to reflect the needs of local residents. There will also be further opportunities to input into the scheme, so be sure to check in on the Northstowe website, Facebook or Twitter for further information.

Once again, we thank everyone who has given their feedback so far; Northstowe would struggle to take proper shape without the crucial input of local people.