A new junction connecting the massive Alconbury Weald development to Huntingdon will be a “key milestone” in opening up the southern end of the site, developers have said.
The "throughabout", on the A141 close to the East Coast Mainline railway bridge and the Tesco superstore, would be the first of its kind in Cambridgeshire and would provide a link to a proposed new rail station, bus and cycle routes, creating a transport hub for the development as well as access from the south.
It has also emerged that 1,500 more houses could be built at Alconbury Weald and the adjacent Grange Farm site - although this has no formal planning status - on top of the 5,000 homes already planned and under construction, along with business areas generating 8,000 jobs.
Tim Leathes, development director for site owners and developers Urban&Civic, said: "The Southern Gateway represents a key milestone in opening up the southern end of the site.
"We are bringing this forward ahead of schedule, supported by Homes England and working in partnership with the local authorities. The access is the starting point of a public transport and cycle connection, running as a central spine through the development and connecting in time to The Boulevard which makes up the tree-lined entrance to the Enterprise Zone on the A1/A14 interchange."
Mr Leathes said: "This is another step for us in creating Alconbury Weald as one of the best connected places in the country to live and work."
Plans for the "througahout", a type of roundabout with a road running through the centre, have just gone before Huntingdonshire District Council and features a three arm signalised roundabout within Alconbury Weald which will allow traffic to flow on the A141 while construction takes place, a priority bus lane through the central island on the eastern approach, together with selective vehicle detection to give public transport a priority route in both directions and a 4m wide toucan crossing, providing a connection to bridleway 21 for the first time and a safe crossing between Huntingdon and Alconbury Weald for pedestrians and cyclists.
The application is the first in a series designed to open up the southern end of the Alconbury Weald development and to provide a connection to the new homes and businesses under construction on the former military airfield. The design has been "future-proofed" to take into account further development and not to have an adverse impact on the A141.
It will be the fourth access point to Alconbury Weald, measuring 70m across and aiming to deliver additional capacity on the road while prioritising public transport.
The new junction, part of the original development plans for the base, will also ensure a more direct road link between Alconbury Weald and Huntingdon, reducing traffic on Ermine Street through the Stukeleys, where £1m of environmental enhancements and traffic calming will be installed, starting this summer.
More than 620 homes already have permission, 215 of which have been built, with around 135 families already living there. Builder Crest Nicholson Chiltern has just applied to the district council for detailed permission to build 192 homes which already have an outline go-ahead.