Residents in North Northants urged to 'have your say' on Ox-Cam Arc future growth

Oxford-Cambridge Arc is the name given to the area identified by government as one of its key priorities for sustainable economic growth.

Tuesday, 27th July 2021, 3:08 pm

Residents in North Northamptonshire are being urged to have their say on a consultation launched by the Government on the Oxford-Cambridge Arc to shape its long-term development plan.

The Arc comprises five ceremonial counties of Oxfordshire, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Northamptonshire and Cambridgeshire with plans to make the area "one of the most prosperous, innovative and sustainable economic areas in the world."

People living in North Northants can share their ideas for the long-term plan for the sustainable growth in the Arc, the spatial framework – or blueprint for how this growth could take place up until 2050.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The Ox-Cam Arc consultation is online and on for 12 weeks

This consultation is the first of three that will guide the framework over the next two years, and a digital platform has been created that will make it quick and accessible for people who live, work, and have an interest in the area to make their voices heard.

Cllr Jason Smithers, leader of North Northamptonshire Council, said: “The Arc region has the potential to drive significant growth locally and nationally so it’s essential that we seize this opportunity to maximise the possibilities and that North Northants spearheads this change.

“This consultation will measure the opinions of a cross section of people in the area to see what’s important to them and what sort of future they would like to see for our region.

“I would encourage everyone to have their say as it’s essential that we attract the right growth to our area, combined with the proper infrastructure to make it happen.

The illustration from the Government document shows the old county council not the two new unitary councils formed in May.

“Not only are we being asked to feedback on how we can boost the economy and the prosperity that would bring but also on how we connect communities and how they are shaped.

“Underpinning all of this is how we do this in an environmentally sustainable way so that we can preserve the unique character of North Northants and maximise the benefits for residents and businesses.”

Comments received in the consultation will help create the vision for the area and will help guide local planning and investment decisions in four areas, the environment, the economy, connectivity and Infrastructure and 'place making'.

The digital consultation will run for 12 weeks. To have your say please go to https://placebuilder.io/futureofthearc.

Transport links in the Ox-Cam Arc highlights the importance of Corby, Kettering and Wellingborough rail links and the major roads

Cllr Barry Wood, Chair of the Arc Leadership Groups and Leader of Cherwell District Council said: “The bold economic and sustainability ambitions we have set out for our region need to be matched by well-planned, long-term and coordinated investment into our towns, cities and rural areas. Inclusive growth, with high environmental standards so that all our residents can benefit, remains at the heart of what we seek to achieve.

“By progressing the Arc Spatial Framework, Government will look at how and where we need to connect and build new infrastructure, whilst enhancing our environment to deliver the sustainable growth that our region is capable of. To start, we must shape a shared vision for the type of growth we want to see.

“This is why it’s so important for every single resident to be able to have their say directly to Government on what matters most to them. How we create opportunities for people to prosper, today and in the future, is an important matter for everyone.”

The Government has additionally announced a new expert panel to advise on sustainable economic and housing growth in the Arc. The panel will be chaired by leading development and regeneration expert Emma Cariaga and will advise the Government on issues ranging from design and sustainability to delivery and investment models.

Economic clusters in the Ox-Cam Arc

Emma Cariaga, Chair of the Expert Advisory Panel, added: “I am delighted to be chairing the new panel exploring opportunities for sustainable economic and housing growth in the Arc. The past eighteen months have highlighted the importance of the quality of the places in which we live, work and enjoy ourselves. So it is great to see those opportunities to bring forward well-planned places that make the most of existing, proposed and emerging infrastructure are being properly considered.”