Weald in Motion

21/08/2012

Urban&Civic have submitted proposals to create a dynamic new living and working environment at Alconbury Weald. The plans for the largely brownfield location have been developed during three years of discussion with local partners and communities and extensive consideration of the area’s natural ecology and wild life.

The work undertaken is captured in a 6,700 page Outline Planning Application, which includes 11 supporting documents and 118 annexes of additional information. Nobody has yet counted but the total number of words probably exceeds 2.5 million.

Project Director Tim Leathes said: "It has been a busy few months pulling this Application together, and making sure that we have captured all of the analysis carried out and the feedback received. The Application embraces the Local Enterprise Partnership’s aspirations for the Enterprise Zone and provides further leverage to maximise economic, social and environmental benefits - not just for the local area but for the wider region too.

“This Application is not about setting out the detail of every house and park, it is about setting parameters and limits for the development on the site. To reach this point we have responded to feedback from 2,500 people at last year’s Design Enquiry Event, carried out extensive wildlife surveys, 33 transport investigations and held regular meetings with over 30 partners including County and District Councillors, local businesses, schools and colleges and local communities.”

The Planning Application proposes up to 5,000 dwellings and 3 million sq.ft. of employment floor space, along with 700 acres of open space, 3 new primary schools and designates an area for a new further education complex to meet the projected needs of a growing population. It will also seek consent for new playing fields, neighbourhood facilities, green infrastructure to deal with waste, maximise the reuse of water and generate low and zero carbon energy, as well as constructing new access points onto Ermine Street and the A141.

Urban&Civic’s Chairman Nigel Hugill said: "The Application is likely to be amongst the very largest submitted during the course of this Parliament. All credit to Huntingdonshire District Council, therefore, in ensuring that it is fully accessible for comment within a week of submission. Alconbury Weald has become recognised as a significant strategic location for both employment and housing and I am delighted that our plans provided additional momentum to the recently announced and renewed commitment to upgrading the A14.

“The purpose of an outline application is to establish appropriate parameters for what is likely to be a 20 year build programme, whilst providing sufficient scope to react to what will inevitably be changes going forward. It may sound a little complicated, but that is exactly how we managed our initial proposals for the Olympic Park, so we do know that the system works.”

Over the last few weeks local residents were given the opportunity to meet the design team and see the plans before submission. It will now fall to the planning authority - Huntingdonshire District Council - to lead the statutory consultation on the Application.

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