Design Enquiry report is published


The owners of Alconbury Airfield, Urban&Civic have today published a report of the Design and Discovery Day held in September 2011. 

The event saw:

  • 100 stakeholders attend a series of technical workshops on Friday 23 September
  • over 2500 members of the public attend the open day to have their say on Saturday 24 September
  • 80 metres of display boards erected in one of the historic Cold War hangars
  • a 35 metre high Ferris Wheel brought on the site to help people get a good view of the site and the surrounding area
  • the consumption of 1252 cups of coffee and 1200 ice creams!

The report pulls together a summary of the event; the main details and content of the display boards shown at the event; a summary of the feedback received from those who came along; and how the Design Team working on the plans for the site have responded to that feedback. The document also sets out the next steps and how the planning process around the site will move forward.

Project Director Tim Leathes, said: “While the event itself was a huge undertaking the level of feedback was exceptionally helpful and we are confident that our proposals will be stronger as a result of the discussions, ideas and inputs we received.  The great thing from our perspective is that people have been very positive about the plans – with examples of the feedback including: 

  • making sure community facilities are in place in good time within the development, and reflect not just the site needs, but respond to needs in the local area.
  • helping to ensure the development of the site supports local businesses and provides local jobs
  • ensuring a robust and sustainable look at transport planning and options, and using the development to resolve some of the current transport  infrastructure challenges in the area – with the A14 getting a lot of mentions!
  • real enthusiasm for the important role of the woodland and landscape within the development and commitment to using the development as an exemplar of sustainable living
  • positive comments on the commitment to respect the heritage of the site with some good idea for use of commemorating the role of the site
  • strong sense of homes needing to have space within and around them, and a range of sizes and types of tenure to respond to local need.

Some of the individual comments also struck to the heart of the proposed development, with one youngster writing: “please get my granddad a job”.

Rebecca Britton, Community Liaison Officer for Urban&Civic added: “We are absolutely committed to minimise the impacts on local communities, and maximise the benefits which the transformation of this site can deliver: economically, socially and environmentally.  Many of the points raised were already issues we are aware of or things we were planning to do, but we had some great ideas come through and got a real insight into the strength of feeling on some issues such as the need to maintain a sense of space.  We were also really pleased about the appetite to preserve the heritage of the site in an appropriate way and we heard some great stories about the links between the site and local communities over the past few decades.”

The report can be downloaded on the right, or please contact Rebecca Britton for a hard copy.