THE long-awaited planning application for the new town of Northstowe was submitted on Monday (February 27).

The application is for the first phase of the development - the biggest new town proposed in the UK since Milton Keynes - which will include 1,500 new homes.

Developers Gallagher, along with the Homes and Communities Agency, have submitted to South Cambridgeshire District Council a refreshed master plan for the town which could eventually see up to 10,000 homes built to the north east of Bar Hill.

The application will have to be validated by planners at SCDC before being published ahead of a public consultation. The application will be overseen by a joint team of councillors from SCDC and Cambridgeshire County Council.

Councillor Tim Wotherspoon, SCDC cabinet member for Northstowe and new communities, said: "We are delighted the application for the first phase of new homes and community facilities at Northstowe has now been submitted as the town is vital to responding to the acute housing need in South Cambridgeshire.

"It will bring with it new jobs, a major boost for our flourishing economy, and will help address the need for affordable homes.

"As the application has just been received, we will now be carrying out the work to make sure we have all the information we need, but if that is the case we will then be publishing the plans and consulting with residents to make sure they have their say.

"We are very clear that the proposals must be best for existing and future communities and the views of our residents are key to that. This is to be our new town and all of us locally are determined to make it work well for everyone."

Northstowe, which has been in the proposal stages for almost five years, when finished looks set to have a population of about 25,000 people, living in sustainable homes, facilities for the community and leisure, and a business hub linked to the town centre.

It is also on the route of the guided bus.