Affordable homes to be built in Peterborough after appeal fails

John Wood of Westwood with his petition against development of a nearby car park. EMN-150510-214220009

John Wood of Westwood with his petition against development of a nearby car park. EMN-150510-214220009

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An appeal against planning approval for 16 affordable homes on a city car park has been rejected.

Housing association Cross Keys Homes can now develop on the car park next to the Hampton Court retail unit in Westwood despite a petition of 123 names against the plans.

Councillors reviewing the application raised concerns about traffic build-up, the loss of parking and the relocation of an existing recycling unit next to a children’s play area, but they sided with Cross Keys.

The plans had been approved last month by the council’s planning committee but the decision was called-in.

Cllr Ed Murphy, member for Ravensthorpe, told the appeals committee: “This redevelopment is really a missed opportunity, an opportunity for the economic and community regeneration of Westwood and Ravensthorpe.”

Westwood resident of 39 years, John Wood started a petition in 2015 to highlight his concern at the council selling off the car park to Cross Keys.

He said: “Residents feel it will cause a loss of shops.”

But, applicant Azhar Ahmed said: “The last thing Cross Keys wants to do is put current leaseholders out of business. From the meetings I’ve had with them they are happy with the proposals.”

The council’s planning department had recommended that the plans be approved despite a landscape architect from environmental service Amey objecting to Cross Keys building a new 22-space car park on nearby green space.

The committee decided to approve the £1.9 million development subject to a fence being built between the car park and play area, and Cross Keys looking to relocate the recycling unit.

Cross Keys hopes to have the 12 affordable rented and four shared ownership homes ready for people to move into early next year.