Milton and Beaches Lib Dems

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Northstowe – first steps of the planning of the new town

by Hazel Smith on 23 July, 2012

Friday, 20 Jul 12 was the first meeting of the Northstowe Joint Development Control Committee (JDCC) for some time and certainly its first significant meeting. It met to approve, or otherwise, the Northstowe Development Framework Document (DFD) which would map out the development of the town over the next 15 years or so.

The DFD is not a planning application as such but is a ‘material consideration’ for all subsequent planning applications. The first of these will come in October for ‘Phase 1’. This makes the DFD a pretty important document to get right.

Hazel is a member of the JDCC and must therefore adhere to strict rules about what she can say about planning applications.

The JDCC did endorse the DFD but only subject to a little more work. There are problems of detail and these will be addressed when planning applications come forward. But more importantly the DFD does not give a clear view of how Northstowe will turn out and of the timeline and decision points towards final completion. Work will be done on these points and the DFD will then be brought back to the JDCC for final approval.

The committee felt that Northstowe should really be something special and wanted a better definition of what it will have to provide to be ‘examplar’ not only in terms of its use of technology but in its design and the lifestyle which it will offer and its relationship with adjacent villages too.

Phase 1 is the development of 1500 homes in the north of the new town and can go ahead before any improvements are made to the A14. Subsequent phases must wait until such improvements are taking place. This means that this development must be self contained in itself because it is possible that futher development does not take place for some time. The secondary school is not included in Phase 1, and we wanted to be sure that this would be built in time for children of the first residents.

Hazel adds: ‘This committee worked well together. We come from the 2 different councils, the District Council and the County Council but there is a good feeling of a joint purpose as we work together to get the details right for the villages that surround the development, and ensure it will be a really good place to live and work.’

There’s lots of information about Northstowe, including access to the DFD at http://www.northstowe.uk.com/ and on the South Cambs website at http://bit.ly/M2rnWD.

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