Scenario 7:
A New Town

New Town

The Policy

  • To preserve the City of Cambridge and its surrounding area much as it is today by concentrating all new development in one new town.

  • Some new development allowed in market towns of Ely, Huntingdon, St Ives, St Neots.

  • Replacement or renewal of buildings allowed within the City and South Cambridgeshire (e.g., conversion of houses into flats, or warehousing into offices, etc).

  • Transport to remain as it is now (e.g., no increase in capacity of roads or public transport) except for new links between New Town and City.

  • There would still be a small increase of households in the City and other areas, despite the restrictions, due to existing permissions for development, subdivision of houses into flats, and reductions of household size. Largest increase in South Cambridgeshire where new town example is located.

  • Employment continues to grow everywhere in the region although it is higher in South Cambridgeshire due to the presence of the New Town.

The Results

  • Dwelling costs increase on average in all areas, although they fall within the New Town,

  • Displacement continues of middle and lower socio-economic groups in the City by wealthy managerial and professional groups.

  • Production costs increase very substantially in all areas except the New Town itself.

  • Displacement continues of traditional jobs in the City by more competitive, high-tech and private service jobs.

  • Concentration of jobs and houses in the New Town would generate very significant congestion into Cambridge and its fringe which could only partly be compensated for by providing a rail link.

  • The cost of living in all areas would increase substantially on average, especially within the City, due to increased house prices and rentals, costs of goods, services and transport.

  • The cost of production in all areas would increase substantially on average, especially within the City, due to increased labour costs, floorspace rentals and congestion.

Transport implications

  • The proximity of the New Town to the City would generate high levels of traffic between them, requiring additional road capacity.

  • A rail link would reduce the use of private car.

  • Emissions and thus pollution increase between the City and the New Town.

  • Reduced congestion within the City.



  • Economic efficiency would be impaired, putting at risk the competitiveness of the region.

  • Export-oriented firms such as the high-tech sector would find it very difficult to compete with the rest of the world, as it would face an increase of over 60% in production costs (between 2001 and 2016).


  • The City of Cambridge would continue to become more segregated through the concentration of high-income groups.

  • South Cambridgeshire would become more balanced on average due to the New Town influence.

  • Lower socio-economic groups concentrate in East Cambridgeshire and Huntingdonshire.


  • Good protection of the environment in the City and the countryside generally.

  • More intense utilisation of land around the New Town might slightly raise emissions and pollution locally, despite rail use, but protects green land elsewhere.



Oakington before
©Cambridge Futures & METAPHORM - 3D model based on Ordnance Survey © CCC and Crown Copyright. All rights reserved.

The pictures show an area where a New Town could be developed. The area illustrated is between Oakington and Longstanton where a number of proposals have emerged. The new development (pictured below) links the village of Oakington (top) to the village of Longstanton (bottom), utilising Ministry of Defence barracks, and both privately owned and County Council land.

Oakington with a New Town

To Conclusions 1