A long 30 years wait to breathe new life into a prime area of land on Peterborough’s riverside has finally come to end.
Ambitious plans for a £120 million development of the derelict Fletton Quays, including 265 luxury apartments, restaurants, a 160-bed hotel and two blocks of offices, were yesterday submitted to Peterborough City Council.
The 20 acre site has been a headache for city planners who have long seen it as a priority target in the city’s growth but have not been able to find developers able to overcome the challenges posed by the land.
And the submission of the outline planning application by a specially created Peterborough Investment Partnership is also hoped to pave the way for the regeneration of other notable sites across the city. These include the Wirrina car park, in Bishops Road, the Pleasure Fairmeadow car park in Oundle Road, and Bayard Place in Broadway.
The partnership is a joint venture between the council and the Lucent Strategic Land Fund, which has specialist site assembly skills and excels in making derelict or difficult sites “shovel ready” so a developer just has to build.
Councillor John Holdich, council leader, said: “Fletton Quays is a carbuncle on the city and it is great that it will at last be developed.
“The council has wanted to do something with the site for at least 30 years. Lots of people had complained the council hadn’t done anything about it.
“But the ownership of the land has been complicated and the council doesn’t have the funds to either develop it or put together a planning application. This is where the partnership comes in - Lucent has the funds and the expertise to bring these sites to development.”
He added: “This is a key project for the city and now the partnership can now look at other sites for development.”
Pram Nayak, joint managing partner of the partnership, said: “I am delighted. It is quite an achievement and we have managed to stick to our timetable. There is a market interest in various aspects of the site and submission of the planning application effectively pushes up the shutters and we can start to talk to operators of restaurants, car parks, hotels.”
The venture involves the creation of five blocks of apartments built partially on “stilts”, which will allow for residents’ car parking underneath and a one-in-100 years likelihood of flooding of a small part of the site.
Mr Nayak said: “We hope to have a planning decision in December and site clearance could start early next year. I hope there will be more sites but no decisions have been taken.”
Fletton Quays occupies a site between the River Nene and the Peterborough to March railway line and it is hoped the planned development will bring new life to the South Bank and make the most of the views across the river towards the Cathedral.
It also involves the creation of community spaces, a new network of cycle and pedestrian links and a multi-storey car park facing the railway.
One side of the car park will feature the 59-year-old Mitchells sculpture, which has been in storage for several years after being removed from Bridge House, on Town Bridge, before its demolition in 2012.