Plans have been submitted for the first local centre at Alconbury Weald. The centre will provide a Co-op Convenience Store, the development’s second nursery, new office space for flexible working and a public square for pop-up events, shops and markets. Called “The Glade”, it will also include green space, with walking and cycling routes and space for outdoor events such as pop-up cinemas.

The plans will supplement the recently opened Pavilion community centre, the Watch Office café and bistro due to open in September and the Club, which provides a gym and will soon be home to a library and information centre.

The submission follows online engagement in which over 600 residents and neighbours participated to help shape the plans. Feedback from residents over the stages of discussions has refined the location of the centre and supported the design team with the key features and amenities people would like to see here. Most recently, it has helped define the activities and use of space including pop-ups, seasonal markets and outdoor screenings, as well as picnic facilities, which have been incorporated into the proposals.

Joe Dawson, of master developer Urban&Civic said: “For our early residents, we ensured key facilities like Swynford Stores and the play areas were in place.  Now we have over 500 homes occupied, The Glade will provide the heart of the first phase of the development and bring together important services and amenities the growing community needs. Crucially it will continue our focus on good quality public realm and space for people to meet, or just sit and watch the Weald go by. It is an important milestone for the community and one we hope to have up and running by the end of 2022.”

The Glade sits along the development’s central Boulevard and will create a dynamic local centre between the commercial and residential areas, close by the Incubators and the new Shire Hall.  The Co-op has been confirmed as the operator of the new shop and the new nursery will be run by Mother Goose Nursery, who also run Jemima House Nursery, the pre-school at Ermine Street Church Academy.

Rachel Arnold, Communities and Partnerships at Alconbury Weald, said: “We’d like to thank everyone who took part in the online engagement and discussions about our proposals for The Glade.  This is a really exciting next piece of the jigsaw as Phase 1 of the development is rolled out and we’re so pleased we have been able to include so many of the features people wanted. We look forward now to bringing it all to life.”