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Arup reveals pioneering 'Gordon Brown green town'

Arup Urban Design has unveiled its masterplan for Northstowe in Cambridgeshire, the first of Gordon Brown's five proposed eco-towns.

The 9,500-home development, currently under public consultation, is being driven by English Partnerships and Gallagher Estates.

Northstowe is the first of the future Prime Minister's proposed eco-towns, each of which is supposed to act as an exemplar for high-volume, sustainable housing.

The scheme - which is a revision of a 2005 proposal - includes a new town centre, neighbourhood hubs, a secondary school, six primary schools, two main 'employment areas', more than 20 children's play areas and a network of 'sustainable travel routes' designed to encourage people not to use cars.

A Gallagher spokesperson said the masterplan adhered to the development principles established by South Cambridgeshire District Council, notably its Northstowe Area Action Plan.

A cinema, a hotel, leisure, fitness and health centres, restaurants, cafés and a 24ha outdoor sports area will also be included in the new town, a planning application for which will be submitted at the end of October 2007.

The fist phase of the scheme is due for completion in 2016 and will include 4,800 houses.

by Max Thompson

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