A new draft masterplan for Northstowe, Cambridgeshire was unveiled today.

Dubbed the ‘first new town of the twenty first century’ the masterplan was produced by national regeneration agency English Partnerships and developer Gallagher.

The plan proposes three neighbourhoods within Northstowe which will each have their own local centres with shops, employment and community centres. There will be 9,500 homes. The main shopping area will be in the Town Centre where a cinema, hotel, leisure, fitness and health centres, restaurants, cafes and bars are also planned. There will also be three sports 'hubs' in the town comprising 24 ha of outdoor sports area.

Regional director for English Partnerships John Lewis said: ‘English Partnerships and Gallagher have reappraised Northstowe, driven by the need to create a community with renewable energy sources, high energy efficiency, low carbon emissions, water efficiency and waste minimisation. At the same time, it has been necessary to review the housing numbers as the need for new homes in the Cambridge sub-region has continued to grow.’

English Partnerships and Gallagher are consulting in late June with local communities and those who may become residents of Northstowe. The responses received will help to shape the masterplan as it is finalised in preparation for submission of a planning application to South Cambridgeshire District Council, which is planned for the end of October 2007.