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Northstowe - the original 'eco-town' creeps forward
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Northstowe, a proposed new town in Cambridgeshire, has had its section 106 planning agreement approved in principle.Northstowe is envisaged as being the biggest new town since Milton Keynes, and was the first development to be envisaged as an 'eco-town', after which the Labour administration's Carbon Challenge scheme resulted in the submission of plans for several more.
Northstowe - the original 'eco-town' creeps forward

Northstowe is a joint venture between the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) and Gallagher Estates. Terry Fuller, Executive Director for the HCA commented “Northstowe is one of the HCA’s top priorities so I am really pleased that we have got past this important step in the overall plan to deliver it, and that it has been given the stamp of approval by the Committee".

"We’re determined that this new town will serve the needs of existing and future residents in every respect, and have ensured that design quality is at the forefront of our proposals. Now the hard work really starts as we plan for houses to come out of the ground in phase one and also start to develop more detailed plans for the new town to actually take shape. There will be lots of opportunities for the public and interested parties to get involved in each step of the way and we are looking forward to engaging with them as plans develop.”

Phase one will deliver around 1,500 homes, a primary school, shops, community facilities, employment land and significant public open space including a water park. With a focus on sustainable development, the scheme is designed to create neighbourhoods with excellent pedestrian links and the site’s close proximity to the successful Cambridgeshire Guided Busway means residents will benefit from convenient bus routes to Cambridge and Huntingdon.

The town's website says that the homes will be designed to conform to 'The Code for Sustainable Homes' but not what level - originally mooted as a 'zero-carbon' development, it seems likely, following consistent pressure from within the construction industry, that this specification will be watered down by the time the settlement comes to fruition. Nevertheless, the developers say there will be good public transport and pedestrian access to limit the need for car use, renewable energy generation, district heating and generous amounts of green space. Allotment gardens are also part of the package.

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