Councillors from Cambridgeshire County Council and South Cambridgeshire District Council approved the plans, which propose up to 10,000 new homes, new schools, employment areas, a town centre and other community services.
The proposed development would be built on the former RAF Oakington Barracks site and surrounding land between Cambridge and St Ives. The development would be brought forward by developer Gallagher Estates and the Homes & Communities Agency (HCA).
A planning application for the first phase of the Northstowe plan was submitted in February. The application proposed 1,500 new homes, a primary school, sports hub, areas of open space, a local centre, shops, employment opportunities and a site for a household recycling centre.
Gallagher Estates will now revise the application to take feedback from the local council and residents into account following a public consultation, South Cambridgeshire District Council said. "They have also confirmed that now the masterplan has been endorsed work will begin on plans for the second phase of the next town," it added
"We are all aiming to make sure Northstowe is a great place to live, work and go to school and now the masterplan has been approved by councillors we will continue to work with developers to make sure the any plans are of the highest quality and deliver social, economic and environmental benefits," said Tim Wotherspoon, South Cambridgeshire District Council's cabinet member for Northstowe.
The Councillors' endorsement of the masterplan follows Wednesday's Government announcement to move ahead with an upgrade to the A14 in Cambridgeshire. The upgrade includes the potential for tolls as well as separate access roads running either side so local residents can make local journeys without facing a toll.
"Without an upgrade of the A14 only a small number of homes at the proposed new town could be built - an issue that was one of the main concerns for residents during a six-week Northstowe public consultation," the Council said.
"After news that the upgrade of the A14 has taken a big step forward this week, it is great to see Northstowe doing likewise," said Ian Bates, Cambridgeshire County Council's cabinet member for growth and planning. "If we get this critical development right it can help boost the economic prosperity of the whole County and with new transport links such as the Busway, and the new rail station planned for the Cambridge Science Park, it will attract business and make it even easier for residents to access jobs. With the input of existing residents we can make sure Northstowe is a fantastic place to live."
South Cambridgeshire District Council will carry out a public consultation on the revised planning application for the first phase of the proposed development before it is submitted to the Council for determination, it said.