Northstowe is a new town of 10,000 dwellings near Cambridge currently being planned to support sustainable growth in the region. Working with Tibbalds, we are currently advising the HCA on transport aspects to prepare detailed design codes for Phase 2 comprising 3500 new dwellings, a new town centre and education campus.
Parking provision within the new community is a sensitive issue, not least of which is consideration of impacts on neighbouring villages absorbed by the new town. Our advice includes dealing with provision and layout of on-street and off-street parking, street layout and consideration of mitigation measures to deal with excess parking demand.
Residential parking standards are one of the ‘fixed’ elements in the design. Consideration of residential parking therefore becomes a design exercise in being able to accommodate sufficient vehicles within the streetscape such that they do not adversely impact visual amenity. Our work has included consideration of on and off-street parking solutions, including parking courts, undercroft and underground parking (constrained by a high water table) alongside variations in housing density and car ownership. Shared parking between public, commercial and residential space is being considered to maximise space efficiency within central areas.
The creation of a new town centre, with high street, anchor stores and related amenities, introduces interesting discussion in relation to parking provision. This is the first town to be created within this largely rural local authority area and so there are precedents for town centre parking provision, and few competing centres with the (major) exception of Cambridge. Providing the appropriate level of parking to support a sustainable development has required detailed consideration of the town attractiveness and catchment, public transport alternatives and the layout of the development area itself to encourage local walking and cycling.
Our work has also considered the potential impact of both public transport measures, and car ownership alternatives, i.e. car clubs. The site benefits from a dedicated busway running adjacent and through the centre of the new town providing high frequency connections to Cambridge and Huntingdon, the primary employment areas. With respect to car clubs, these are not as well established in this semi-rural area as in urban areas so take-up rates are expected to be lower than experienced in London. This aspect is being taken into account when making recommendations for a car club grid.
The study output will be a Design Code for Northstowe Phase 2.
Client: Homes & Communities Agency