News from the Northstowe Community Forum 18 October 2017

Wednesday, October 25, 2017 - 14:30

Last week’s community forum was another great opportunity for local people to come together with the Northstowe developers, contractors and local agencies to hear about the latest developments and share their views. Those who came along early for the drop-in session also got a sneak preview of how the community wing is shaping up prior to opening up in the next few months.

Andy Campbell from Stagecoach came along to the meeting to listen to residents views about bus timetabling and availability along the guided busway. Andy was also able to share his opinions and help people understand the costs and legalities associated with running buses. Residents shared their frustrations of full buses, buses that do not interconnect with Cambridge North Station and cost of travel and Andy stated that Stagecoach buses on the busway have increased from 20 to 43 since it opened and that he anticipates putting on more buses as the demand from new residents make it viable. Issues regarding timetabling were discussed in depth, and mention was also made of discussions with the Greater Cambridge Partnership about increasing the number of buses into and out of Cambridge if congestion is reduced.

Stuart Field from Gallagher Estates was able to share that all five housebuilders are now on site with their sales offices open. The number of homes now coming out of the ground is evident for all to see and the number of people moving in will start to speed up soon. At least 26 houses on the Bloor site now have people living in them and Gallagher will soon be seeking planning permission for the new play areas and work continues on the Western Park and local centre. 

Some recent breaches of planning conditions were discussed and South Cambs District Council agreed to write to all contractors to remind them of the conditions. A number of questions were asked about the Kingfisher Pond and the planned timings for building kingfisher banks - Stuart agreed to follow this up.

The HCA is also continuing to make good progress on Phase Two, with designs for a temporary HCA office building on site well underway, including plans to trial modular and eco build techniques, and contractors recently appointed for both the main site (John Sisk and Son) and the Education Campus. Residents were complimentary of the HCA for committing to being on site as well as for trying alternative building methods and a grasping the healthy new towns ethos.

In response to a question regarding timings for closing Rampton Road it was explained that the HCA would like to have an ongoing discussion with Rampton Drift residents on this. It is currently anticipated that Rampton Drift will join up with Northstowe fairly late in the programme, however, this could change if wanted, but no decision is needed now. The HCA also committed to providing an update on local drainage issues at all future forums.

Finally, we heard that a total of 51% of houses on Phase One now have planning permission granted and pre-application discussions are also happening on more plots. Also, the first pre-application discussions for homes on Phase Two are due to begin in November, so that building can start as soon as the A14 is complete.

The 2018 community forum (7pm) and drop-ins (6pm) will be held at The Community Wing, Pathfinder C of E Primary School on 17 January, 18 April, 18 July and 17 October. Any queries please contact or 01954 713070.

Gemma Barron, Head of Sustainable Communities and Wellbeing at South Cambridgeshire District Council

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