Northstowe

Economic development and employment strategy for the new town

OUR BRIEF

BBP was originally commissioned by English Partnerships (EP) to undertake a Strategic Sustainability Review for Northstowe, a proposed new town of 10,000 homes within the Cambridge subregion.  BBP led a multi-disciplinary team including Cambridge Econometrics, Alan Baxter Associates, and Colin Warnock to determine the optimal quantum and mix of new development, including residential, employment, retail and other uses, and with regard to innovative transport measures including the Cambridgeshire Guided Bus (CGB).  Our work considered issues such as connectivity, trends in home working, the desire to achieve a sustainable balance of local jobs and housing, and the role that Northstowe will play in the context of the rapidly growing Cambridge subregion.

OUR APPROACH

Detailed analysis was undertaken to establish a sustainable balance between housing and employment provision, with a view to encouraging as many local residents as possible to work in the town, thus reducing pressure on road networks.

In order to carry out this work, a modelling exercise was undertaken to establish the likely population profile of the new town and how this would be expected to evolve over the next 20-25 years. This included a range of demographic analysis such as age profiles, child yield, occupations, skill levels, and incomes, and this fed into detailed recommendations with regard to the mix of housing tenures, types and sizes, the number of primary and secondary schools that would be required alongside other community infrastructure, and finally the quantum and mix of employment floorspace. The employment and training strategy, carried out jointly with SQW, also included a report on homeworking practices and how this would impact on the proposed workspace provision.

OUTCOMES

The key outputs of this ongoing work were to inform the masterplan for the whole of the town, as well as outline and detailed planning applications for various stages of the proposed development.  BBP also provided evidence on behalf of EP at the South Cambridgeshire LDF examination in public, for the Core Strategy, Development Control Policies and finally the Northstowe Area Action Plan..