Robin Butler, Managing Director of Urban&Civic, was delighted that so many people had taken the time to visit the site and by the buzz of discussion in the listed hangar where the exhibition was held. He said: “It was great to see so many people here – including a substantial number of local families – to express their opinions on our plans. We know that this is a site to which many people have a strong connection and we had some really interesting discussions, ideas and contributions flowing across a range of subjects.”
Whilst the Saturday event was the main focus for members of the public, Urban&Civic also held a series of technical workshops on Friday 23 September. This involved over 100 partners from organisations ranging from Anglian Water to Whippet Coaches taking part in a similar set of discussions to test the emerging plans for the site and get feedback.
The Design Team now have hundreds of comments to go through and more coming in all the time via feedback forms from the day and the online discussion forums on the Alconbury website.
Robin added: “While we will take several weeks to go through the comments in detail, the feedback from Friday and Saturday gave us some clear messages about the things people are enthusiastic or concerned about. This feedback has helped us to formulate some immediate pledges which we will take forward.
“The pledges respond directly to the central themes that emerged including how people can access the opportunities of the development, what we will do about potential traffic impacts, how we can guarantee the delivery and quality of the green space as well as the integrity of the development as a whole: from the first tree to the last brick. In summary people liked what they saw, but wanted reassurance that we would deliver it – these pledges are our immediate response and we will expand on them as we move forward.”
The Ten Design Enquiry commitments for the development are:
- Plant over half a million new trees across the site starting Winter 2011-12
- Bring forward an enabling application during 2011 to start the Enterprise Zone
- Maximise the jobs on site for local people, working with Jobcentre Plus and Huntingdon Regional College
- Create a Southern Gateway to connect to Huntingdon Town Centre
- Actively participate in the regeneration of Huntingdon Town Centre
- Give long term legal protection to the major parks and public spaces, including a permanent green shield for the Stukeleys
- No vehicular connections to Owl End and Green End (Great Stukeley) and Clay Lane (Abbots Ripton)
- Record and publish the social history of the airfield and incorporate physical elements of its past
- Provide long term facilities for local sports teams and clubs
- This is not the end of the consultation process.
You can get more of a flavour of the design enquiry and further background behind the pledges from our Feedback Display which was presented on Tuesday 27th September (see related downloads).
For those who were not able to come up to the site, the display boards and comment opportunities are all online at www.alconburyairfield.co.uk. The physical display will also remain up until the end of October and can be viewed by appointment by calling the Urban&Civic office on 01480 413141.
A detailed record of the event will be published following a full analysis of the comments after this preliminary consultation period finishes at the end of October. The record will be published by the end of the year. Further opportunities to feed into the developing masterplan will also be published later in the year, but you can get involved at any time by contacting Rebecca Britton. Feedback subsequently published in May 2012 can be found in 'Related downloads'on the right.