New town work 'may begin next year'

Northstowe in South Cambridgeshire could eventually see 10,000 new homes built with the aim of addressing a housing shortage in the region.

On Wednesday night, outline planning permission was granted by South Cambridgeshire District Council for the first 1,500 homes, a primary school and shops. It means construction work could begin in 2013 once detailed plans are agreed.

Tim Wotherspoon, the council’s cabinet member for Northstowe, said: “The decision today is a huge landmark for Northstowe as the town has been talked about for more than 10 years.

“We are now at the stage of turning a vision into a reality and will begin to look at the fine detail to make sure the town is of the highest quality possible.

“There is an acute need for new homes in South Cambridgeshire – especially those that are affordable – to support the jobs being created, but we will continue to put residents and quality first to make sure the right facilities are there from day one.”

He added that one concern around the development was transport links, but described Government promises to upgrade the congested A14 as “pleasing”.

As well as new homes, developer Gallagher’s plans for the first phase also include a sports hub, areas of open space, a local centre, employment opportunities and a site for a household recycling centre.

Ian Bates, cabinet member for growth and planning, said: “This is a really big step forward in building a future community at Northstowe. A lot of hard work has already been carried out with both Gallagher and the Homes and Communities Agency, but this will now continue to make sure the right facilities are in place for everyone.

“More transport facilities to complement the guided busway will be needed for when residents move in as these are vital to improving health, reducing congestion and boosting the local economy.”

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