The ambition to create a new destination at Colchester’s Northern Gateway moves a step closer following the submission of the planning application for the southern element of the development, adjacent to Axial Way.
This mixed-use development will combine exceptional green credentials with a highly desirable environment, creating an aspirational place for living, playing, working and doing business.
A series of well-attended public consultation events have helped to inform plans for the land south of Axial Way. The masterplan has been carefully designed to comprise high-quality residential areas, modern business premises and accessible, community focused public spaces.
The development centres around a sweeping pedestrian boulevard spanning the entire site, linking the new infrastructure of roads, footpaths and cycle routes to connect the new development with the wider area. The Northern Gateway will also benefit from an innovative new low-carbon district heating system.
The vision for Northern Gateway has been well supported by central government with three large scale grants being secured over the past three years. Formal confirmation has now been received from central government of £5.5m Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) grant, which will see the money invested in a new pedestrian boulevard, two access roads to the Axial way site and links to the main road network.
Funding for the same location was also secured in 2017 from Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy for the development and construction of a low carbon, district heating system, with a £3.5m grant from its Heat Networks Investment Project.
This will deliver heat to the new homes and business from a central Energy Centre with open loop ground source heat pump and five boreholes into the chalk aquifer 100 metres below ground level, ensuring that the development is sustainable and fit for the future.
Last month it was announced that Colchester has been awarded £3.45 million under the Government’s Local Full-Fibre Network (LFFN) programme, to roll out new ultrafast broadband networks across the town centre and Northern Gateway. The funding will deliver gigabit-capable networks across the Northern Gateway destination offering world-class digital connectivity and future proofing the location for years to come.
Councillor Nick Barlow, Colchester Borough Council Portfolio Holder for Commercial Services, said:
“The submission of this planning application is a significant milestone for the Northern Gateway. Interest, particularly in the new commercial spaces, has already been strong with several enquiries following the consultation from local, regional and national businesses, across a variety of sectors.
“The scheme will also aim to provide world-class digital connectivity, plus instant access to the regional transport network, showcasing high-quality contemporary urban design. The Northern Gateway will truly be a destination to be proud of.”