Northstowe Community Forum: 22 January 2020

Chair's Welcome

Councillor Sarah Cheung Johnson - South Cambridgeshire District Council


The first Northstowe Community Forum of 2020 was chaired by Sarah Cheung Johnson, and was attended by 56 people in the hall and approximately 30 viewers online.  


Local Plan: Jon Dixon - Greater Cambridge Shared Planning Service

Jon Dixon gave a presentation based on the information found on the Greater Cambridge Planning website


Northstowe Travel Survey 2020: Prajina Baisyet, Cambridgeshire County Council

Prajina gave a brief overview of the findings in the 2019 Travel Survey, which was the first of 5 mandated by the Northstowe Phase 1 Residential Travel Plan.  The second will occur Monday 2 to Sunday 8 March 2020. 

Several questions from the audience concerned the proposed 5-minute frequency buses through the Longstanton Park and Ride.  It was confirmed that some buses would be making the journey into town, and some would be terminating at Cambridge North. All efforts are being made to ensure bus and train times match, but as these are private organisations this effort is a negotiation rather than an instruction.


Pathfinder Primary School Update:  Stephanie Redgate, Head


Stephanie Redgate is the Head Teacher of Pathfinder Primary School in Northstowe, which has grown from 11 to over 200 children in 3 years. This is quicker growth than anticipated.

Stephanie announced the strong anticipation that the space left by the closure of Leap and Learn Northstowe would be taken on by Pathfinder primary school as a 52 place setting for ages 2-4 in September 2020.  It was pointed out that one of the difficulties that Leap and Learn faced was that the space was not designed for 0-2 year olds, and therefore this setting would not cater for this age group.

They also anticipate being able to provide holiday care, trialling in this February half term.

Phase 1 update: Stephen sage, L & Q Estates

Stephen Stage from L & Q Estates gave an update on works in Phase 1.

Western Park (S/2265/16/RM)

Rugby & Football pitches seeded and being actively tended to.

Astroturf, formal MUGA (a hard surface play area), bowling green & paths are complete.

Due to wet weather seeding has not occurred on the mini-football pitches.  Anticipate seeding in April.

Planting of trees and shrubs will start end January, finish mid march.  These trees will be planted as 800mm high whips, and be planted in two discrete sections with an open area between.

Footpaths will be officially opened in April.


Formal Park

Started in September, has been effected by wet weather.

Access to the MUGA, play equipment and path expected before access to the seeded areas, post-march.

Footpath on northern greenway outside of pathfinder school should be open March.

Seeding has been delayed due to wet weather. If we have optimal conditions February onwards the grass will be able to be walked on in April, but this is heavily weather dependent).


Water Park

Expected start in spring for completion by end of the year.

500 trees, 4 to 5 thousand plants to install, so planting may continue to 2021.


Stirling Road

Sidewalks on Stirling road should be topped out from the Linden Showhome Eagle Way in March.

Speed bumps have been removed and large signs put in.

It was confirmed that street sweepers are continuing at the same frequency.

It was confirmed that as Stirling Road has not been adopted the zebra crossings are technically not enforceable.


Community Centre land transfer

Will be transferred at 750 occupations and discussions are underway.

South Cambridgeshire District Council is actively ensuring that there will be no gap in service to the Wing when it moves to the new community centre.


Other items

The temporary bus path will be re-surfaced in late February or Early march.

More temporary ramps around Northstowe will be installed in line with community suggestions.

The smashed lights on Stirling Way have had new lenses ordered.

Commercial Land has no progress to report.


Rampton Drift Lights

Philip Harker from Homes England took a question about the footpath from Stirling Road to Rampton Drift as it is part of Phase 2. He pointed out that the path was originally an unlit dirt path. It is currently paved, and lights will be installed in due course, as will play and picnic areas.


 History Annexe: Quinton Carrol, Cambridgeshire County Council

Unfortunately Quinton Carrol from the Cambridge County Council Archaeology Department was not able to be at the forum so Jon London stepped in to give a very brief update on the new History Annexe that is being built next to the Homes England offices, that will house the archaeological finds from both Northstowe and the A14 digs.  The A14 will be funding this project, with support from Homes England.  Quinton will give a full update at the next forum.

CGR update: Clare Gibbons, South Cambridgeshire District Council

Clare Gibbons from the South Cambridgeshire District Council gave an update on the Community Governance Review taking place to decide the future governance of the parish councils affected by the Northstowe development.

During the first stage of the consultation over 430 submissions were received, including over 90 from Northstowe. These results are currently being analysed for submission to the civic affairs committee on the 3rd of march. This report will be shared with Parish Councils one week prior to the meeting.

Any changes that occur are likely to be implemented in 2021.  Preliminary findings are that Longstanton, Oakington & Northstowe residents all wish to be independent parishes.  Northstowe residents additionally strongly believe that the entirety of Northstowe (Phases 1,2,3a & 3b) should remain as one unit.


Phase 3a:  Philip Harker, Homes England & Katja Stille, Tibbalds

The outline planning application for 3a will be submitted soon. It will contain 4000 homes, 2 primary schools, local centre, sports facilities, faith land.  37.5% open space (over what policy requires) and has been developed over a year of community consultations.  The open space will be brought into the centre of the development and includes re-instating the old ‘Mill Lane’ road between Oakington & Longstanton as a greenway.

Outline planning for 3b will be submitted in a future application in Spring 2020, and will consist of 1000 homes and one primary school.

These applications have been developed to be flexible to the needs of tightening national policies such as carbon neutral construction and other green targets. There is off-site mitigation land which is a large area of land in the fens where habitats have been created for birds and animals displaced by the project.

Employment and housing will be integrated, with example with corner buildings which could be converted into offices or corner shops.  This is also intended to future-proof the development.

It is understood that the Southern Access Road will be required before Phase 3a is fully occupied, and the option to have a bus-only link between Northstowe & Oakington has been retained. Cycle routes will be provided alongside major routes.

Concurrent working on the different phases of Northstowe will allow for an estimated date of completion for Northstowe is 2034 and Homes England intends to be involved as the masterplanner until Northstowe is complete. 

Planning and Enforcement Update:  Andrew Thompson & Fiona Hunter, Greater Cambridge Shared Planning Service

Fiona Hunter is the new planner for Phase 1, Andrew Thompson is going to concentrate on Phases 2 & 3.

A paper copy of the Phase 3a outline will be available at the Community Wing, and over 4000 letters will come out to all houses in the area to alert residents to comment on the application.

Phase 2a marketing suite has been approved. The Heritage Centre is currently available to comment upon and Andrew Thompson again proved his memory by reciting the code: s/44484/19/FL

Any issues regarding the built environment of Northstowe should still come to and then will be passed on to Fiona.

Community Update: Jon London, South Cambridgeshire District Council

Northstowe is at 529 occupations

Thank you to all the housebuilders for their efforts regarding the Christmas Tree on the green, with extra special thanks to Stephen Sage for driving all the way from Bedford to troubleshoot the lights.

Funding for community events can be found through the Community Chest, through Longstanton Parish Council, or searched for on GrantGrabber. 

The Northstowe Community Wing is also available for bookings


The Next Northstowe Community Forum will be held on 1 April 2020


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