News release from 18/06/2021

Help shape Northstowe Local Centre and Enterprise Zone

Help shape Northstowe Local Centre and Enterprise Zone

Residents can now begin to shape two future areas of Northstowe – the Local Centre and Enterprise Zone - from the earliest possible stage.

An online survey to find out what people want the areas to look like in the years ahead has been launched and will be followed by an online workshop on Monday 19 July 2021. If you wish to sign-up for the workshop, which is aimed at exploring opportunities for the area, just send an email to northstowe@ar-urbanism.com 

This comes after South Cambridgeshire District Council purchased both sites earlier this year.

Pictured above: Cllr Sarah Cheung Johnson and Cllr Alex Malyon, District Councillors for Northstowe.

The initial vision from Councillors is for the Enterprise Zone and Local Centre to be places designed around pedestrians and cyclists. The aim is for good links to the nearby Guided Busway park and ride, along with flexible green, public open space. Residents, businesses and local groups and organisations can now feed their ideas in for the future of both areas. An online survey is now available to complete and runs until Saturday 31 July.

Views gathered during the survey and subsequent online workshops will be used to inform the longer-term plans for the area.

The survey asks for views on what the Local Centre should look like by 2030, what it should provide, what community facilities should be there and how it can be a thriving place where people want to live, work and play. Additionally, it asks for examples of places and spaces elsewhere that local people think the Council could learn and take inspiration from, as well as seeking views on the jobs, businesses and services that people want to see.

One of the District Councillors for Northstowe, Cllr Sarah Cheung Johnson, said: “We are very happy to see that residents are being given the opportunity to give their views and shape the development of this important area in Northstowe. It was exactly the reason we championed the Council taking on this land to develop itself. Getting local people involved in shaping these plans from an early stage is key – and just what we’re doing.”

Fellow District Councillor for Northstowe, Cllr Alex Malyon, added: “This is an excellent opportunity for the local community to give their views. We’ll be making sure that we listen closely to what we hear, so that we can work with residents from Northstowe and surrounding villages to build facilities that will work for us all. Local residents really do know their area best, so I’m looking forward to hearing about their aspirations.”

The ambition is for construction work to begin on site in the summer of next year. Before that though, a raft of community engagement is planned, including:

  • The public survey now available to complete
  • A questionnaire for local businesses, which will be made available later this month
  • Virtual workshops in July for current and future residents as well as businesses. If you wish to take part in the workshop scheduled for 6:30pm on Monday 19 July 2021, simply email northstowe@ar-urbanism.com
  • Updates at the Council’s Northstowe Community forum on Wednesday 14 July 2021
  • One-to-one Zoom interviews with businesses, potential investors and development partners
  • Further workshops for residents towards the end of 2021

All these elements are aimed at giving local people the best possible chance at helping to shape the plans for the Northstowe Local Centre and Enterprise Zone from this early stage. For now, though, residents are being encouraged to put forward their thoughts via the survey.

Councillor Bill Handley

South Cambridgeshire District Council’s Lead Cabinet Member for Community Resilience, Health and Wellbeing, Cllr Bill Handley (pictured), said: “We said when we announced the purchase of these sites back in April that we’ll be making sure that local people and businesses have the opportunity to comment during the planning process and this is what we are doing now. There is a great opportunity to create new local jobs, green spaces and facilities for pedestrians and cyclists. Residents and businesses are key in helping us to deliver what is needed – after all, they know the area best. Please do complete the survey now and look out for many more opportunities to get involved throughout the second half of this year.”

The local centre is located directly next to the employment land and is an opportunity for the Council to help shape and bring forward the retail and commercial development. It will create an important meeting place and local facilities such as shops for residents, linking employment and residential areas. The vision is to create an area made up of shops, restaurants, cafes and buildings that are active, vibrant, and safe. A community building will provide a central focus point for this area.

The Council envisages that the Enterprise Zone will become an attractive northern gateway to Northstowe, taking advantage of the Guided Busway’s links to Cambridge, St Ives and surrounding villages. The Zone will contain buildings set within a green landscape providing green links, connections, and places for people to enjoy.

The Council is working with AR-Urbanism, specialists in master-planning and design, on the community engagement work at Northstowe. The Council will continue to work closely with the newly formed Northstowe Town Council as plans emerge.