29 September 2011
Alconbury Enterprise Zone
Part of Alconbury Airfield site has been selected by the Government as one of the new wave of Enterprise Zones. The Enterprise Zone proposal at Alconbury is designed to encourage new investment and create around 8,000 jobs.
The proposal, submitted by the Greater Cambridge - Greater Peterborough Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) to Whitehall in June, put Alconbury in competition with other Local Enterprise Partnership proposals across the country, and the 10 successful national winners, including Alconbury, have been announced today.
The Alconbury Enterprise Zone will cover 150 hectares of the whole 575 hectare site, and will offer a vibrant mixture of employment uses. It will bring a number of benefits to the LEP area, including: 100 per cent business rate discount worth up to £275,000 over a five year period for every business that moves into the site; all business rates growth within the zone for a period of at least 25 years will be retained and shared by the local authorities in the LEP area to support their economic priorities; government and local authority help to develop the planning approaches in the zone; and government support to ensure superfast broadband is rolled out.
Going forward the Enterprise Zone is conditional upon the council putting in place a simplified approach to planning, which is referred to as a Local Development Order. A Local Development Order grants planning permission for the type of development specified in the order, and by doing so removes the need for a specific planning application to be made by the developer. This process will allow the council to shape the area with consideration for what will genuinely benefit growth and attract private sector investment to the Enterprise Zone.
Executive Leader of Huntingdonshire District Council, Councillor Jason Ablewhite, said: “This is excellent news and the hard work from all parties involved has truly paid off. The enterpise zone will accelerate and enhance the delivery of a strategic growth location within the LEP area, and maximise the available returns to the local community. Additionally it will provide the basis for further growth and interest within the region.”
The council has worked closely with developers Urban & Civic throughout the process and will continue to do so to bring high-quality jobs to the area, and to lead its development into the future.