Alconbury Weald developers Urban and Civic have been given the go-ahead for a scheme which will govern the appearance of a key part of the site.

An artist's impression of how the new Alconbury Weald development could shape up. Picture: CONTRIBUTEDAn artist's impression of how the new Alconbury Weald development could shape up. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Detailed proposals for the appearance, layout, access and scale of hard and soft landscaping, drainage, the installation of an electrical sub-station and the associated engineering and earthworks have been approved by Huntingdonshire District Council.

The scheme involves 3,700 square metres of land between the iMET skills centre and the site of the yet to be built new headquarters for Cambridgeshire County Council.

It is also close to the historic wartime Grade II-listed watch tower.

Urban and Civic was granted outline planning permission to develop the former Alconbury airfield in 2014, involving the construction of 5,000 homes, 290,000 square metres of employment space, together with a range of schools, health, community and recreation facilities.

But it still needs to get permission for detailed elements of the scheme, known as reserved matters, as they come up.

The council has imposed a number of conditions on the development, including that the work be carried out in accordance with the approved plans and that they are completed before the first use of the buildings, the provision of lighting and no extra gates to be installed to safeguard the appearance of semi-public land.

The Stukeleys Parish Council said it had no reason to object to the scheme, but it was concerned about the appearance of an electrical installation.

A council planner said that repositioning the ring main unit would lessen views of it from the iMET centre and county council headquarters and soft planting would help disguise it.

The planner's report said: "The main issues are the impacts of the proposals on the setting of the Grade II-listed watch tower and the character and appearance of the area, the amenities of neighbouring occupier of land and buildings, road safety and surface water drainage."

It said the importance of the watch tower was highlighted in the county council headquarters application because it was a rare and well-preserved building of its type, despite much of its wartime setting being lost.

A proposed vehicle access and turning area near the headquarters would retain the openness of the area and would prevent the watch tower being swamped by buildings.

The report also said: "Given the scale, nature and location of the proposals, the amenities to the occupiers of the existing and proposed buildings would not be significantly harmed."