It has been mentioned that building could commence on the first 1500 of 10,000 new homes in the new Cambridgeshire town of Northstowe by early 2014.
Northstowe is one of the most talked about developments for decades, especially in Cambridge. Upon completion, Northstowe will be the largest new town to be built in the UK since Milton Keynes in 1965. The town will provide homes to around 25,000 people and there will be primary and secondary schools, sports facilities, office and high tech research and development facilities, shops, parks, recreational areas and great transport links to surrounding areas.
Will the development of Northstowe be a good thing for the local area? Lets find out by looking at some of the issues currently associated with the building of the UK’s largest new town.
If you live in close proximity or use the A14 on a daily basis to commute to work or for business purposes then hearing the words ‘The A14’ strikes fear into the hardest of men! Avoid it on a Monday morning, stay clear of it on a Friday evening, big lorries, speed cameras, traffic jams…. The list just goes on and on. So what will happen when 10,000 homes are built for 25,000 people to live in just on the edge of the A14, surely this will just make road and traffic problems worse?
The Department for Transport have come up with some innovative new proposals for the A14 that include:
• A major new road scheme involving tolling.
• A new bypass to replace the existing road around Huntingdon and upgrades along the A14 as far east as Milton.
• Two new roads built in parallel to, with one on each side of, the current A14 immediately north of Cambridge for local use.
• Upgrade of the existing A14 carriageway through the removal of accesses and junctions, and improvements to junctions at the northern and southern ends.
The new town of Northstowe will border the existing Cambridgeshire villages of Longstanton and Oakington. A great deal of discussion has taken place over the area of separation between the new development and the existing villages to ensure the identity of Longstanton and Oakington isn’t lost when Northstowe is built. Many of the people living in these small villages do so because they like the feel of village life so naturally they are worried about the impact of a new town being built right on their doorstep. The building of the town is inevitable now but with the right amount of green separation between the new development and the surrounding areas, village identity should be kept and community spirit should live on.
Loss of amenities
You would think that building a new town would mean an increase in local amenities but in the first stage of the new development the land where a local golf course is situated will be used to make way for the first 1500 development of houses.
The Par 72, 6818 yard course made Longstanton golf course one of the longest courses in the country but the club was closed in July 2013 ahead of the first phase of the new development.
Much needed homes
Homes are definitely at a shortage in Cambridge and experts predict that the lack of housing will push the average tenant rent up to £1414.00 pcm in the next ten years. Cambridge will see one of the steepest rises in rent in the whole of the UK with the cost of rents rising much faster than the cost of housing.
The thriving and rapidly growing economy of Cambridge has ensured the City has been well protected from the economic downturn. Cambridge offers some of the most attractive job opportunities in the country through its vast network of high tech companies and large organisations such as Cambridge University and Addenbrooks hospital, so demand for good quality housing is high, making it difficult to purchase good quality housing in the area.
A development of 10,000 new homes will certainly help the housing shortage but it will have to be one of many new developments in the local area to have a real impact on the current housing shortage.
It’s a new town
Currently, the closest town to Cambridge is either Ely or Newmarket, both of which are about 16 miles away. Having a new town in close proximity to Cambridge will mean surrounding villages, especially on the northern side of Cambridge, will have the option of using the new local amenities in Northstowe rather than driving into Cambridge and paying the over inflated car parking prices that are currently being charged. It also means that the villages of Longstanton and Oakington will only be a short walk away from new shops, schools and great sports and recreational facilities. Maybe the owners of houses in these nearby villages will start to see an increase in the value of their homes too.
Its a low carbon town
Northstowe will be a low carbon town with a focus on energy consumption, recycling and renewable energy regeneration. Surrounding the development will be expansive natural areas with purpose built meadows, ponds and hedges aimed at providing and encouraging natural habitat and growth.
Northstowe will promote healthy living and will include cycle paths, especially designed footpaths for walking and jogging and the whole layout of the development will be connected by easily accessible links that encourage walking and cycling rather than the use of motor vehicles.
Green fingered residents of Northstowe will be in their element as they will be surrounded by community gardens and allotments where individuals can grow their own flowers, fruit and vegetables.
New jobs and businesses
Northstowe will offer a wide range of business opportunities through offices and high tech research and development firms based in the business hub area close to the town centre. There will also be further employment sectors based in the park and ride area of the town, making Northstowe a great place to work, whether you’re a resident or a commuter.
10,000 new homes = 10,000 new removals!
Of course, 10,000 new homes means 10,000 new removals in the Cambridge area and Cambridge Van Man will be aiming to complete as many of those removals as possible. But it wont just be removals services that people will need, they will require the services of many different local businesses from the moment people start to move in, meaning Northstowe will create work for all kinds of local people and businesses.
Love it or hate, Northstowe will happen. More homes are needed in the Cambridge area and the creation of local jobs will always be welcome. As long as the development is sensitive to the needs of local people and doesn’t impact negatively on the surrounding villages we believe it will be a success. We are excited about the building of a new town close to Cambridge that promises so much and we look forward to seeing how the development progresses once work begins.
About the author – Jon Lamming writes on various topics about Cambridge Man and Van removal services, house clearance, storage and packing. Here he writes about the new Cambridge town of Northstowe. Besides writing for blogs Jon enjoys surfing all over the world, Thai Boxing and riding his motorbike. The most important things in the world to Jon are his lovely Polish wife Magda and his two girls, Emily and Olivia.