Government cash boost pledged for Northstowe
Released on 22 November 2012
The Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, has pledged financial support to help get the new town of Northstowe off the ground following calls from local council chiefs.
In a speech to the National House-Building Council today he said money would "unlock barriers to investment" and announced £225 million of funding for large scale housing schemes in England - including Northstowe.
The latest commitment to help make sure Northstowe is a high quality town demonstrating exemplar standards follows hot on the heels of Council Leaders welcoming Communities and Local Government boss Eric Pickles for a tour and fact finding mission at Cambridgeshire's growth sites earlier this month.
Outline planning permission for Gallagher's first phase of the new town, which would include 1,500 homes, a primary school, sports hub, areas of open space, a local centre, shops, employment opportunities and a site for a household recycling centre, was approved by councillors at the end of October to address shortages of homes in the area.
South Cambridgeshire and Cambridgeshire County Councils are now working with developers to make sure construction of the town would put "quality first" and the news of financial support has been welcomed by councillors as it could help meet aspirations town which will eventually have 10,000 homes.
In a letter to Cllr Ray Manning, South Cambridgeshire District Council's Leader, in October, Housing Minister, Mark Prisk, recognised the significant local funding that has already taken place to date from all partners - including a potential major capital investment of £25 million that has been agreed by Cambridgeshire County Council.
Mr Prisk also reaffirmed the Government's commitment to improving the A14 and delivery of the Cambridge Science Park Station and said, "I can also confirm that the Government fully recognises the important role that both the proposed A14 upgrade and the creation of a new Cambridge Science Park Station will play in the development of Northstowe. We remain committed to the timely delivery of these schemes."
Almost £8 million of Government funding has already been secured to widen the A14 between Girton and Histon in 2014 as a short term measure to alleviate congestion and improve safety, in advance of the major upgrade to the road - which Government Ministers announced proposals for earlier this year.
The share of upfront investment provided for Northstowe is not yet known, but council leaders have said they will strive for the best deal for Cambridgeshire.
Cllr Ray Manning, South Cambridgeshire District Council's Leader, said:
"We have lobbied the Government hard to secure financial support for Northstowe as we have always been clear we want to deliver a high quality new town that we can all look back on with pride. The fact is there is a great need for new homes, but equally as important is making sure the right facilities and infrastructure is in place as early as possible so the new town can be a real success. The Government has given a very clear message they are fully behind us as South Cambridgeshire is an engine for national growth, and we will now be pressing hard to get the best deal for existing and future residents. The A14 and Cambridge Science Park Station are both very important for future phases of Northstowe and we also look forward to working with the Government and other partners on these issues."
Cllr Nick Clarke, Cambridgeshire County Council's Leader, said:
"Only a few weeks ago Ray and I were welcoming Eric Pickles to the area and telling him how vital financial support is to building a community at Northstowe. Cambridgeshire is of vital importance nationally and I am delighted the Government is listening to us and backing growth here. The Guided Busway is already in place for the first residents who move into Northstowe, the upgrade of the A14 is firmly on the agenda, and this further funding will make sure the town can get off to the start it deserves. We will continue our work with partners and the Government to ensure that the plans deliver a place where people will want to live, work, visit, and where business can prosper."
Last Updated: 22 November 2012 12:02