Application submitted for new Country Park and next 1500 homes at Alconbury Weald

24/07/2019

Plans have been submitted to bring forward the next steps of Alconbury Weald, which include a new 155 acre Country Park and the next 1,500 homes – coming forward as part of the development of Grange Farm. 

The  planning applications detail the Country Park - which will be one of the largest in the County -  and set out an Outline Application for 1500 homes, a Primary School, community facilities, green and play space, and cycle, bus and road connections. It also includes a Section 73 application, which updates the original Outline Application to reflect new policies and local requirements since the Plans were approved in 2014. This includes setting aside the area of Grange Farm for new homes to respond to additional homes required under the Local Plan.

The applications follow extensive engagement with key stakeholders and consultation with local residents and the surrounding communities, which included a number of workshops, open days and exhibitions over the last 8 months.

Tim Leathes, Development Director for Urban&Civic, said: 

“These applications go to the heart of our approach, which is to be joined up in the way we deliver places. You cannot deliver homes without the connections, facilities and green spaces which make them attractive places to live. The applications reflect a huge amount of technical work that underpins our robust plans for each set of new homes coming forward, but also ensures they work with the existing communities and town and align with strategic growth strategies. The engagement process has been a key part of testing the approach, and we are excited about what this next stage of Alconbury Weald will deliver.”

The Country Park is a core part of the delivery of 4 strategic green spaces within Alconbury Weald, and will deliver 155 acres for local people and nature to enjoy. Urban&Civic will be working with local partners and the Stukeleys to enshrine the Park as green space in perpetuity, and to develop plans which secure formal status as a new Country Park for Huntingdonshire. 

It will sit around the scheduled monument of Prestley Wood, with its ancient semi-natural woodland, which will be restored and opened up to reveal the double moated monument that dates back to the 13th Century. The Park will act as an important transition, preserving the identity and separation between Alconbury Weald and the Stukeleys, and providing green links to Huntingdon and Abbots Ripton. 

Prestley Country Park and green space planned across the whole development remain part of ensuring Alconbury Weald delivers a net gain for nature, delivering important habitats to support priority local species, alongside being designed and located to provide green corridors for nature and people to enjoy and connect to across the north of Huntingdon. It will deliver 60 acres of grassland, 61 acres of woodland and include sports facilities, fitness trails and 7km of cycle and walkways. Green corridors will run through the development, connecting the Country Park to Runway Park and to the historic woodlands of Monks Wood and Hermitage Wood, and ultimately up to the Great Fen.

The Country Park will be coming forward hand in hand with a new application for 1500 homes, which will see the total number of homes at Alconbury Weald rise from 5000, to 6500. The increased number of homes is set out in the recently adopted Local Plan, and the teams investigated a range of scenarios with Alconbury Weald residents and local communities to explore how best to deliver the homes in keeping with the vision of the new community.  The creation of a new part of Alconbury Weald, which nestles into the Country Park and connects directly into Huntingdon, enables the same standards of low density living, access to quality green space, and key amenities which is at the heart of the Alconbury Weald vision. The homes will have direct links to the main transport hub, which will come forward around the new rail station, and the proposed link to the Cambridge Autonomous Metro system.

Part of the area designated for homes previously included land set aside for a sports and Further Education Campus. These requirements have changed since the original 2014 Planning consent, with the Sports Campus moving up to sit alongside the Secondary School in the middle of the development, and the existing site of the Regional College in California Road, Huntingdon remaining the base for the local college, with a higher level Skills Centre coming forward within the Enterprise Campus at Alconbury Weald, as iMET.

Tim Leathes added: 

“We know that there will be concern around more homes coming forward at Alconbury Weald, but we have worked hard to ensure the new area reflects the high quality aspiration we have for Alconbury Weald, and does not increase the density or layout of the original plans, but also works sensitively with the Country Park plans to deliver a major area of important green space for both new residents, the Stukeleys and the local area.”

“Given the scale of investment coming forward in infrastructure across Grange Farm – to connect Alconbury Weald to Huntingdon and the A141 - it naturally brings forward this part of the development next; enabling us to maintain our commitments of bringing forward new homes hand in hand with transport, amenities, education, health, retail and green space for residents to live life to the fullest.”

More information can be found on Huntingdon District Council’s website - https://publicaccess.huntingdonshire.gov.uk/online-applications/ - ref: 19/01320/S73 for the Section 73 application The Council’s consultation on the planning application closes on 13 August 2019. The reference for the Grange Farm Application is 19/01341/OUT.

A guide to the Applications is available here, and a full set of the documents is also available to review in the Club, at Alconbury Weald, by appointment, by contacting 01480 413141 or emailing alconbury@urbanandcivic.com