Devolution paves way for homes

John Holdich
John Holdich
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As part of the devolution deal across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough the government committed to a housing fund of £100million to be spent over the next five years, writes Peterborough City Council leader cllr John Holdich.

The fund will be spent across the area to build more properties including affordable homes.

I was pleased to secure such a large fund to support residents, especially as the original offer from government was to be spent across all of Cambridgeshire, Peterborough, Suffolk and Norfolk!

Details have been announced this week of the first projects, subject to approval, that are set to benefit from this funding that was only available as part of a devolution deal for the area.

Funding is being considered for two projects in the city, a development on the former John Mansfield School site and the other on Newark Road, a site owned currently by Cross Keys Homes.

This cash injection which will be considered next week by Mayor James Palmer and the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority means that both sites could deliver 100 per cent affordable housing for residents.

It will also speed up the construction - and we hope to be on site at Newark Road in the autumn.

Obviously, we’ll be working in close partnership with Cross Keys Homes to build these homes, which may well be delivered by our shared housing development company - Medesham Homes.

81 properties will be built on the John Mansfield site and 104 on Newark Road - with roughly half on each development being for affordable rent, with levels set at 80 per cent of market rent, and the rest being shared ownership properties.

The Newark Road development will also be the location of the new Heltwate Special School and hydrotherapy pool as we announced last week. We agreed a small land swap with Cross Keys Homes to make this happen.

Following on from the funding awarded to progress the city’s university plans and other projects now being supported across the county, I believe this underlines the positive impact that devolution can have on our community and those throughout Cambridgeshire.

What a great sight to see so many people enjoying their new roles at Addison Lee’s Peterborough customer service centre. I was invited to the official opening last week and was impressed to see 120 of the planned number of 250 employees already settled inside the Access House building in Hampton.

Addison Lee is a vibrant and visionary company and has chosen Peterborough as a platform to ready themselves for future growth.

The aim is to have all 250 Peterborough team members in place before the winter so visit www.yourjourneystartshere.co.uk to find out more about these job opportunities.

The latest piece in the jigsaw to transform and modernise our city centre is now complete.

New paving and seating has been installed in Lower Bridge Street in the area outside Peterborough Magistrates’ Court leading up to Town Bridge. This £2.1 million project also includes improved cycle routes, more cycle parking and a new covered cycle shelter.

Previous projects to improve the public realm include Long Causeway, Cathedral Square, St John’s Square and Cowgate and I continue to be impressed by the progress being made to make our city centre more inviting and appealing for residents, workers and visitors.

Lower Bridge Street will also become an important route between the centre and the £120 million regeneration project now taking place at nearby Fletton Quays.

We recently launched the new Healthy Peterborough Lifestyle Service at an event in the city centre offering people the chance to learn about the support on offer with a focus on healthy body, healthy heart and lungs and exercise.

The event was a great success with more than 60 people receiving mini health MOTs and 35 people being referred to services which can support them to improve their healthy by, for example, losing weight or quitting smoking.

If you couldn’t make it on the day, but would like support to lead a healthier lifestyle, you can visit www.healthypeterborough.org.uk for more information or call 01733 590064.