The 18 July 2018 Northstowe Community Forum was chaired by Cllr. Sarah Cheung Johnston.
Building upon the presentation of the Secondary Education Campus given to the forum in January, Steve Cuttill from architects Frank Shaw Associates gave an update on the progress of that project. While the presentation gave an overview of the facilities the school will provide, the focus was on the project timeline.
Steve confirmed that the planning application had been submitted, and that consent was expected to be given in late August/early September.
Following the confirmation of planning consent, it is expected that enabling works will begin in late September. Full construction will begin on site in December 2018.
It was explained that the building of the secondary education campus will be phased, and that this will be reflected in the occupation of the school. Phase 1A (core teaching facilities) will be open in September 2019, with the remainder of Phase1 being completed by summer 2020.
The presentation was followed by questions from the floor.
Questions were raised regarding the level of sustainability measures being employed in the new campus:
- Steve Cuttill explained that a BREEAM consultant was a member of the project team. BREEAM is the world's leading sustainability assessment method for masterplanning projects.
- It was noted that while 10% of the roof of the secondary school will host solar panels (meeting required regulation), that infrastructure allowed that further panels could be supported in future.
- It was acknowledged that while some elements of the build meet the minimum standard set by regulations, that the project’s BREEM target of “very good” was exceeded and almost met “excellent” levels in many areas.
Questions for Head Teacher Andy Daly:
- Andy Daly confirmed that the intention is that the campus will host an adult education programme (as it does at Swavesey VC).
- They are beginning the community consultation process for items such as a shortlist for campus names, school house names, branding & logo.
Questions were raised about the available car parking and drop-off provision:
- It was made clear that the SEN school would have its own car parking provision, acknowledging the larger volume of traffic owing to the needs of the students at that school. With reference to the car parking to the rear of the secondary block, it was pointed out that in the longer term extra provision will be available on the community sports site on the other side of the Greenway. Blue badge provision will be within 50m of the school entrance.
Northstowe Phase 3
The presentation detailed how the 5000 home development has been developed in consultation with various stakeholder groups including the general public, at a series of four events held in Northstowe Phase 1 & Oakington.
Phase 3a is further along in the design process, the number of houses and access points for Phase 3b depends upon the outcome of a traffic survey of the B1050.
While the southern access road and guided busway routes are fixed through the development every other aspect of Phase 3a is under discussion. The main two ideas are to either use the green space to increase the size of the buffer with Oakington, or a mixed approach that allowed larger green spaces to penetrate deeper into Northstowe. This may or may not follow the path of the old runways as a reflection of the past.
The main question was to do with water infrastructure:
- It is a condition of development of phase 3b that the issue of possible flooding in downstream communities such as Swavesy must be resolved.
- Homes England is currently in close dialog with the Environment Agency & SCDC through an iterative design process to engineer a solution able to withstand a 1/100 years event for up to 48 hours, and will probably involve SuDS (Sustainable Drainage Systems). This will take into consideration existing infrastructure at Webbs Hole.
Phase 1 Update – Stuart Field
Stuart Field gave a brief update on the Phase 1 Local Centre Square, and then fielded a number of questions from the open floor.
Local Centre Square:
- Planning permission for the Local Centre Square is in, and will contain public art, a community notice board and two electric car charging points.
- Development of the surrounding shops will be the task of a further developer.
- 3 out of 4 play areas & formal park applications are in and should be approved in the next two weeks for a best guess start date of October/November 2018
King Fisher Pond:
- Vegetation clearance has occurred in areas of the pond that will once more be underwater when levels rise again. This will help ensure nitrogen levels in the water are kept under control. This was done because the H7 parcel will soon begin diverting groundwater into the pond. The football pitches will also start in September / October.
- A kingfisher has been seen recently in the pond.
Transport (answered by Tam Parry from the County Council):
- A request to build a temporary cycle connection to the Busway has been put to the Busway project manager.
- Tam Parry explained that the roundabout at the A14/B1050 was temporary, also noting that the A14 upgrades had to be complete before houses in Phase 2 could be occupied.
- The Oakington transport hub is a GCP proposal not specifically linked to Northstowe, consisting of a 47 person car park (including 6 disabled spaces) and locked cycle boxes built in a field near the busway. A member of the public noted that it was being built in the field next door to a major Anglo-Saxon burial site, and hoped that archaeological excavations will take place before any building work.
Hattons Road ponds:
- They have three sections managed by different organisations.
- There was a call from the community for a balanced approach to public access and restricted wildlife areas.
- Water is being removed for dust abatement.
Rubbish & Security:
- Gallagers are responsible for the security of unbuilt outside areas but have no responsibility when it comes to occupied houses.
- Mike Hill confirmed that we will look into supplying public litter bins if needed.
- Blown building debris is a form of litter and the responsibility of the house builder it came from.
The next Northstowe Community Forum will take place 17 October 2018
Any queries please contact Northstowe.firstname.lastname@example.org or 01954 713070.