The largest residential development scheme in the UK launched the sale of its first homes last week as work at Alconbury Weald in Huntingdon.
The overall site will have a perimeter of 18km and is being built on the former cold-war RAF base. Once completed it will feature 7,000 new homes, a government-backed enterprise zone, two primary schools, a secondary school, health centre, 700 acres of green space and a cricket pitch. It is expected to take up to 20 years to complete.
The developer of the scheme, Urban & Civc, bought the 1,425 acre plot from the Ministry of Defence in 2009 and this launch marks the sale of the first 128 homes in development. It is larger than a garden village and smaller than a town so is being viewed as an urban extension, or suburb, of Huntingdon by many.
There are also plans to bring a railway station to the area with services being included on the East Coast Mainline route, shuttling customers into Huntingdon and Cambridge, then on to London.
The national developer has partnered with local home builders Hopkins Homes, to build the first properties on the site, which will range from two-bedroom coach houses up to large five-bedroom detached family homes.
Robin Butler, managing director of Urban & Civic, said that urban extensions, and building on the outskirts of existing towns, is part of the solution to the housing supply shortage, especially as larger projects, such as the new town at Ebbsfleet, have stalled due to lack of funding.
“We find ourselves at the epicentre of the Government and economic agenda on this project, and in order to meet housing needs in Britain we need to spread the load and build in logical places,” said Mr Butler.