New housing plan for Peterborough will ‘help stop speculative developers’

Outside the Council chamber at Peterborough Town Hall on Bridge Street. Photo: Paul Franks/Peterborough Telegraph
Outside the Council chamber at Peterborough Town Hall on Bridge Street. Photo: Paul Franks/Peterborough Telegraph
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A new housing plan for Peterborough will help tackle speculative developers who seek to exploit poor planning from local councils, it is claimed.

Peterborough City Council’s cabinet agreed to begin looking at a new Local Plan which will identify areas for housing development.

The council recently boasted that the highest number of homes in a single year had been built in the city going back for a quarter of a century.

But it is wary about protecting itself from developers who will look to build homes on land which is not designated as suitable by the council.

Simon Machen, the council’s corporate director of growth and regeneration, said: “Unfortunately there are developers who want to develop on land not in a plan.”

Mr Machen added that councils have a government requirement to demonstrate a five year housing supply plan.

If that does not happen, then should a council refuse an application for housing by a developer, the authority is likely to be defeated on appeal as it cannot claim it has sufficient housing in place.

The cabinet today (Monday, July 20) agreed that a timetable should be set up for the new Local Plan which will take three years to produce.

Councillors highlighted other authorities which had been hit by unwanted developments due to not having a sufficient five-year plan in place.

Councillor Nigel North, cabinet member for communities and environment capital, said: “This will keep us ahead of the pack.”

Current plans for development include the 5,350-home Great Haddon development in Yaxley which received final approval in January, but is believed to be 15 years away from completion.

There were 1,352 new homes built in Peterborough in 2014/15, with 10 knocked down.

Of the homes built, 507 properties (more than a third) were affordable housing.

Related: Highest number of homes built in Peterborough in more than 25 years