Northstowe New Town is the largest site bidding to be a NHS England “Healthy New Town”

According to Co-Star, Homes England has lodged outline planning applications for the two final phases of the 10,000-home Northstowe New Town in Cambridgeshire. Arcadis and Tibbalds Planning and Urban Design have lodged the plans on behalf of Homes England, the Government’s housing accelerator.

The 10,000-home new town is a flagship development for Homes England. It has become one of the largest of 10 frontrunners in a major initiative by NHS England: Healthy New Towns, which aims to rethink how health and care services can be delivered to create healthier places long-term.

The town is being delivered in three phases. Phase 1 is being developed by L&Q and five volume housebuilders. Phases 2 and 3 are being promoted by Homes England with an emphasis on health and wellbeing. When complete, around 25,000 people will live there.

Phase 3, which is the final component of the development, comprises two separate planning applications. Phase 3A will include 4,000 new homes, a mixed-use centre, two primary schools, and a range of open spaces for play and recreation, across the 210 hectares (519 acres).

Phase 3B will provide an additional 1,000 homes, a primary school, and a mixed-use commercial zone, as well as a communal area, across 47 hectares (116 acres).

Mike Goulding, Project Director at Homes England, said: “These planning applications, along with the completion of £55million of infrastructure to unlock the site shows that despite the restrictions in place because of COVID-19 we are determined to ensure that people can live in the homes they want.

“These planning applications are an important part of a 20-year supply of new homes planned at Northstowe alongside the necessary community facilities including a new town centre, schools and health facilities.”

Janice Hughes, Senior Technical Director for Strategic Planning and Arcadis’ Project Director, said: “This represents a significant milestone in Northstowe’s development as a new town. Arcadis is pleased to be supporting Homes England in the delivery of Phase 2 and to lead on bringing forward this major planning application for Phase 3, providing all socio economic, environmental, sustainability, transport, infrastructure, costs and viability services. It’s been a huge team effort and a successful collaboration with the local authorities and stakeholders. Northstowe is a development that really does exemplify our ethos of improving quality of life.”

Matt Shillito, Director of Tibbalds Planning and Urban Design, said: “Northstowe is allocated as a strategic development in the South Cambridgeshire Local Plan and will be the largest settlement in the district once it is completed. The third phase has been brought forward to complement Phases 1 and 2 and create a well-designed and integrated addition to the emerging new town that sits comfortably within the context of the surrounding fen landscape and neighbouring settlements of Longstanton and Oakington.

“We have handled post permission planning work for Phase 2, and over the course of this project we have developed strong, established relationships with both the local authority and surrounding community. A thoughtful approach to urban design and sustainability has been intrinsic to the proposals from the beginning and is embodied in every facet of the scheme.”

As part of Phase 2, Tibbalds and Arcadis are supporting Homes England by progressing the development from outline planning permission through to delivery, providing planning support, infrastructure works, and design development to ensure Design Code principles and key milestones, such as the opening of the secondary school, were met.

Katja Stille, Director of Tibbalds Planning and Urban Design, said: “This commitment is embodied in all elements of the outline applications, in particular the masterplan, infrastructure, the delivery of open space, landscape, and green infrastructure to maximise opportunities for positive and healthy lifestyle choices. Throughout the design process for Phase 3, there has been a strong commitment to ensure that healthy new town principles are applied to all aspects of the Northstowe development. This healthy living brief was an opportunity to rethink every element of our masterplanning and design processes to ensure that health and wellbeing are fundamental to the new community, not simply an add on.

“Too many of our developments are brought forward in isolated locations that do not allow communities to make positive lifestyle choices. Northstowe is an exception. Here, we aspire to have a number of ‘healthy living’ attributes including housing for an ageing population, treating more people locally in the community, and tackling obesity through providing mixed, inclusive and walkable neighbourhoods with good cycling and walking connections and excellent access to facilities and open space. Bringing forward these two final phases is a chance to embed this thinking throughout the whole site.”

Arcadis’ Project Manager and Environmental Lead, Caroline Wynne said: “In developing the masterplan, our interdisciplinary approach meant that environmental and technical specialists have contributed at all stages to maximise the environmental benefits; for example we are achieving net gain in biodiversity, recognising and maintaining the heritage value of the site, remediating the former airfield and bringing forward significant open space and landscape areas in keeping with the existing wider setting.”

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