The original planning permission for the new town of Northstowe was submitted by the developers English Partnerships (now the Homes & Communities Agency) and Gallagher Estates in December 2007. A request for amendments was prepared by South Cambridgeshire District Council and submitted to the joint promoters in Spring of 2008.
Before the amendments could be finalised, and a revised planning application submitted, the world was hit by the largest Global Economic Recession since the 1930’s. Banks faced collapse and the financial consequences were felt around the world. Consequently the revised planning application was never re-submitted and the Northstowe project has faced inevitable delay.
In December 2009 the joint promoters of Northstowe (which includes the Homes and Communities Agency; Cambridgeshire Horizons and others) announced that Northstowe would now go forward as one of the Labour Government’s Eco-Towns – in the second wave.
LDHS recently responded to a consultation on street names for Northstowe. For full details and a list of our suggestions please see our 8 December post.
Out on site Bloor homes now have a sales office in situ and the first homes to be built on Northstowe are taking shape. These first houses should be ready for sale by Spring 2017, by which time a number of other house builders should have started work out on phase 1.
The drainage scheme for phase 1 and the later phases is a cause of concern for some local residents in Longstanton and the heritage society is pleased to see that the matter is now being taken seriously by the Environment Agency and others. Hopefully, co-operation between EA, the planners and the developers will ensure that the environment of Longstanton will not be damaged by work out on site. As the new town takes shape habitats for wildlife become more important than ever and the heritage society does not wish to see our historic gravel-fed pond system become a casualty of over-zealous drainage systems out on the Northstowe site.
Building work has started on Phase 1 and detailed planning applications are being considered for two parcels of land. The primary school on the Phase 1 site is completed and the children of Longstanton’s Hatton Park School will be based there for the academic year 2016-17, whilst the village school is extended. It is anticipated that the first houses on the Phase 1 site will be put up for sale in the Spring of 2017 and the heritage society is currently working with others on the preparation of a Welcome Pack for the new residents.
The Phase 2 Section 106 agreement has yet to be signed off and this is the Phase that will encompass the RAF Oakington site. It is anticipated that work on a heritage strategy for Northstowe will commence early 2017 and this is important for the heritage society because discussions on a museum for the new town will have to start as part of the process.
To keep up to date with progress of the Northstowe development please see our Facebook page or the official Northstowe site at: http://northstowe.com