The story so far……
It seems that discussion about development of a new town at Northstowe has been going on for years. And indeed it has been on the agenda since the late 1990’s. Applications made by the joint promoters, Gallagher Estates and the Homes and Communities Agency [HCA], in 2005 and 2007 were subsequently withdrawn and progress stalled during the recession.
Finally however last year the application for Phase 1 was received: http://bit.ly/1qkozWU. This is an outline application which includes up to 1,500 dwellings; a primary school and a mixed-use local centre. The first phase will be located on land south of Longstanton Park and Ride and adjacent to B1050 at Station Road, Longstanton and Hatton’s Road, Longstanton.
Following long and detailed negotiations between the legal teams of both Gallagher and the local planning authority, South Cambridgeshire District Council, terms for the provision of affordable housing, contributions towards education and community facilities, etc. were agreed through a Section 106 agreement in March this year. The total of £30million equates to £20,000 for each house built on Phase 1. A further commitment of £41million by the developers of Phase 1 [just 15% of the total homes to be built at Northstowe] represents 25% of the overall cost of work which will benefit the whole town. This will cover landscaping, roads, utilities and new reservoirs to create a water park.
Gallagher are now working towards discharging the pre-commencement conditions attached to the permission. The councillors from both South Cambridgeshire District Council and Cambridgeshire County Council who make up the Northstowe Joint Development Control Committee [NJDCC] have shown themselves to be very detail conscious when being asked to approve such applications. There has been widespread consultation over details of roads as aspirations are for Northstowe to prove exemplar in its encouragement of modes of transport other than the car.
The first occupations are scheduled for early 2016 as is completion of the primary school. It is anticipated that the school will take its first pupils for the Easter term of 2016.
Whilst Phase 1 progresses without any requirement for the upgrade to the A14, Phase 2 cannot proceed without this. The outline application for Phase 2 has now been submitted by the Homes and Communities Agency and will include 3,500 homes, 2 primary schools, a secondary school and town centre. In line with the work on the A14, the first houses on this part of the development will not be available until around 2019. The NJDCC will consider the application around summer time next year. Meanwhile it is subject to a public consultation. Details of the application and consultation: http://bit.ly/1roa9DW
….to be continued…