Northstowe News

The Pathfinder Church of England Voluntary Aided (CE VA) Primary School is complete

Hatton Park to make it their temporary home

Finishing touches are being made to the internal fit as well as external soft and hard landscaping at the new Northstowe school in anticipation of welcoming pupils from nearby Hatton Park Primary School, who will make the new building their temporary home for the academic year 2016-17 whilst their own school gets a major makeover and until there are Northstowe residents ready to use it.

Planning for long-term or strategic developments can sometimes mean that timings of infrastructure and new homes do not precisely align and in this case the school, which also has wider community uses, has been completed before the first homes in line with original anticipated timings.

Gallagher, developer for phase one, anticipates that the first homes will be completed spring 2017 as the first housebuilder, Bloor Homes, was recently contracted and submitted detailed planning for the design of the first homes to the planning authority in May.

This would have left the Northstowe primary school empty for a year, with Cambridgeshire County Council having to meet security and maintenance costs for the building.

In the meantime, nearby Hatton Park Primary School in Longstanton is about to embark on an expansion project to increase the capacity of the school to 420 places.  

A solution has, therefore, been found via an agreement between the partners for Hatton Park Primary to move to the Northstowe school site for one year from this summer. This will mean the Northstowe school will be occupied and the work to expand Hatton Park can be completed more quickly and without the need for the school to operate on the site at the same time.

The County Council is working alongside Hatton Park teachers, parents and the developers to ensure a smooth transition to the new site and that everything is in place for the school to open in September.

Both schools will ultimately feed into the new Northstowe Secondary School, so the arrangement will also mean the two schools will start working together sooner than originally planned.


National Infrastructure Commission visits growth sites in Cambridge

Part of a call for evidence on the Cambridge-Oxford growth corridor

The National Infrastructure Commission was established in October 2015, to change the way the UK plans and delivers major infrastructure projects.  Previous reports recommended putting HS3 at the heart of a High Speed North, building a new ‘Crossrail 2’ in London, and creating a Smart Power revolution in the UK’s electricity sector. Each of these recommendations were accepted by government at Budget 2016, when the Commission was also asked to undertake an in-depth study focusing on the infrastructure needs of the fast-growing Oxford-Milton Keynes-Cambridge corridor.

The study will report on the strategic infrastructure priorities needed to generate further growth and maximise the potential of this corridor, which encompasses some of the UK’s fastest-growing and most productive cities.

The Commission visited development sites at Northstowe and in Cambridge calling on local stakeholders, businesses and politicians to contribute to the NIC’s ongoing Call for Evidence which will run until 5 August.

Ahead of the visit, National Infrastructure Commissioner Bridget Rosewell said,

“The corridor between Cambridge and Oxford is one of the UK’s fastest-growing, most productive and innovative regions, but there is a risk that a lack of transport, housing and wider infrastructure may prevent it fulfilling its potential. That is what the National Infrastructure Commission’s study is seeking to address.

“If we get this right, the region could become greater than the sum of its parts - a high skilled, high employment, high innovation cluster, helping to fire the national economy by leading the world in cutting edge technology and jobs.

“The National Infrastructure Commission will work with local stakeholders, businesses and politicians to pull this cluster together while protecting the area’s high quality environment and securing the homes and jobs the region needs. We want as many people to contribute as possible – and we look forward to hearing their views.”

The Call for Evidence can be found here