Friday, 28 June 2013

Planning And Development Minister Tours Growth Sites In Cambridge And Site For New Town Of Northstowe

Planning and Development Minister Nick Boles MP has been on a fact finding mission to sites for thousands of much-needed new homes following confirmation that the government will be investing over a billion pounds in a major upgrade to the A14.

On the visit to the Cambridge area the Minister visited the 10,000 home site of Northstowe – the country’s biggest new town planned for over 40 years

He also talked to local MPs and councils about the growth strategy for the area including a trip to Cambridge’s southern fringe and the Addenbrookes Biomedical Research Campus where leading research and technology giant AstraZeneca will be setting up their global research centre and corporate headquarters.

The Minister also took a trip on the guided busway from Northstowe to see how the public transport link that has already carried over 5 million passengers since it opened will help residents get in and out of Cambridge more easily from day one.

Outline planning permission for the first 1,500 homes which will include a primary school, sports hub, shops and employment opportunities was granted by a joint committee of councillors in October last year and developers Gallagher could begin work on site later this year. A series of detailed planning applications are expected over the coming months.

News that major improvements to the A14 are to be funded was welcomed by campaigning councils and Local Enterprise Partnerships across the East yesterday as The Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander MP announced the £1.5 billion project will be funded and get underway earlier that expected in 2016.

Cambridgeshire County Council has been leading the charge with local councils in the East and Local Enterprise Partnerships to campaign for the road to be upgraded and have helped get the project off the ground by collectively funding £100 million.

Planning Minister Nick Boles said: “We are determined to bring about the new homes, investment and jobs we need and to get sustainable development underway without delay. We're helping deliver thousands of new affordable family homes across the country, improving vital transport links like the A14 and making the most of every single square inch of previously-used land available."

Cllr Tim Wotherspoon, South Cambridgeshire District Council’s cabinet member for Northstowe, said: “It was fantastic to welcome Nick Bowles to the site of Northstowe following the news that the much-needed upgrade to the A14 is to go ahead. The improvement will unlock future phases of Northstowe and make sure we can manage more of the transport implications of building a new town will have. We are all working hard to make sure the town is built to the highest standards so we can look back on it with pride.”

Cambridgeshire County Councillor Ian Bates, cabinet member for growth and planning, said: "Cambridgeshire is leading the way in managing and supporting growth and the City Deal could unlock potential that could otherwise be lost. We have worked with the Government in bringing forward vital measures such as the highly successful Busway and now the A14 to manage that growth to enable growth whilst preserving the quality of life for existing residents.

Cllr Tim Ward, Cambridge City Council’s executive councillor for planning and climate change, said: “I am very pleased the Minister is visiting Cambridge City to see the progress that we are making to deliver high quality new communities and create new jobs. The provision of affordable housing is a high priority for the City Council and we are working hard to enable more homes to be built.”