How you helped shape Alconbury’s future

THE 2,500 people who turned up to last September’s consultation at Alconbury Airfield will today discover how their ideas have influenced plans for the 1,400-acre site.

Copies of a 60-page guide prepared by developers Urban&Civic, containing feedback from September and subsequent events and the company’s responses and pledges, are being delivered to households in neighbouring villages today (Wednesday) and made available more widely across Huntingdonshire.

As it is developed over the next 20 years, the site will include a 150-hectare enterprise zone, jobs for 8,000 people, 5,000 homes and rail and bus links.

About half the site will be either public open space or expansive new woodland – planting along part of the perimeter has already begun and the zone will include a tree-lined boulevard.

In their foreword to the booklet, Urban&Civic’s chairman Nigel Hugill, and managing director, Robin Butler, explain: “The four-day ‘design enquiry’ at Alconbury last September was an early example of our commitment to a conversation with as many people as possible to help shape the future of the area.”

Project director Tim Leathes said: “The level of feedback was exceptionally helpful and we are confident that our proposals will be stronger as a result of the discussions, ideas and inputs we received.”

Suggestions included:

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Making sure community facilities are in place in good time within the development, and reflect not just the site needs, but respond to needs in the local area;

Helping to ensure the development of the site supports local businesses and provides local jobs;

Ensuring a robust and sustainable look at transport planning and options, and using the development to resolve some of the current transport infrastructure challenges in the area – with the A14 getting a lot of mentions;

Real enthusiasm for the important role of the woodland and landscape within the development and commitment to using the development as an exemplar of sustainable living;

Positive comments on the commitment to respect the heritage of the site with some good idea for use of commemorating the role of the site;

Strong sense of homes needing to have space within and around them, and a range of sizes and types of tenure to respond to local need.”

The developer expects to submit an outline planning application for the site to Huntingdonshire District Council during the summer.