Wintringham Park square at St Neots site wins design approval

HEADQUARTERS: Huntingdonshire District Council's Pathfinder House

HEADQUARTERS: Huntingdonshire District Council's Pathfinder House - Credit: Archant

Details of a key design feature of the Wintringham Park housing and business development at St Neots, including a public square, have been approved.

But planners at Huntingdonshire District Council were concerned that the area, known as The Well, would clash with another proposed open space.

The council gave the go-ahead to the final details of the scheme, which have previously been approved in principle, including ornamental water features, landscaping and cycleways.

Wintringham Park involves the construction of nearly 3,000 homes, 63,500 sqm of employment space, together with retail, leisure and health facilities and two primary schools.

St Neots Town Council had already backed the scheme, saying: “The committee are pleased to see that provision for open spaces are included in the development.”

In approving the plan a district council planner said: “Having regard to the reserved matter details for which approval is sought, it is considered that the proposed development would create a high-quality landscaped area which will make a positive contribution to the character and appearance of the Wintringham Park development whilst providing links between the development and the wider network of paths connecting to Cambridge Road and beyond.”

Planners said The Well had been shaped and scaled to host local events, adding: “However, larger events such as markets and festivals are intended to take place in the larger civic square area envisaged opposite the site on the western side of the primary route.

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“Concern was raised by Officers during pre-application discussions as...the design code does not set out a requirement for an additional and larger public square and it was intended that the civic square would be the main community space, providing a civic function in an area of the site close to the community hub and primary school which sits within the central parcel of land and is not punctuated by a primary road.”

Developers said in their application: “The proposed scheme will see the timely delivery of pedestrian access to the primary school and the community facilities within it in time for its opening in September 2020.

“The proposals will form a nodal point for the pedestrian and cycle network throughout Key Phase 1 and form a key amenity and leisure space for users of the primary school, district centre, and the adjacent western residential parcel.”