1,600 homes planned for Peterborough Showground in leisure village-led development

Up to 1,600 homes could be built on Peterborough’s Showground site as part of a multi-million pound transformation of the venue.

Thursday, 30th December 2021, 5:00 am
Aerial view of East of England Showground, Peterborough 2AP1K75

Details of the number of homes earmarked for the 165 acre Showground have been released by the Asset Earning Power Group (AEPG) as part of its leisure village-led development bid for the site in Alwalton.

Ashley Butterfield, chief executive of AEPG, said it was hoped to submit two outline planning applications, plus a masterplan for the site, to Peterborough City Council in the spring.

The first application will be for 650 homes - a number already allocated in the council’s Local Plan, which guides development in the city.

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Ashley Butterfield, chief executive of AEPG.

The second application will include a further 950 homes, which do not figure in the Local Plan, plus a £15 million leisure village.

It is planned to offer a range of affordable homes, Build to Rent properties, private rented, housing association and open market owner-occupancy.

The details are outlined in a new document submitted to the council by AEPG requesting an environmental screening opinion for the development that was first revealed in September but did not include the number of homes planned.

Mr Butterfield said: “The feedback to our proposals so far has been positive and I am confident the development will go ahead.

Councillor Julie Howell, Leader of the Green Group on Peterborough City Council

“We feel the density and design of the homes plans works.

“We are hoping that development work will get under way in during 2023/2024.”

However, the focal point for the development will be a 50 acre leisure village that is expected to create 500 jobs.

AEPG states its intention is to ‘transform’ the current primary focus of the Showground ‘from organised annual large scale outdoor events and functions, to a fully accessible facility providing internal activities comprising competitive socialising, health and wellbeing, leisure and recreation, cultural and tourism uses ... as one comprehensive leisure village.’

It states: “This will become the core of the community, and with the level of investment proposed, has already been described as a truly unique model for development, the like of which is unseen in the UK.”

And it adds: “Showground uses will be retained in the interim until such time as investment to significantly enhance the range of facilities is economical.”

The Arena has been home to the popular Peterborough Speedway track for many years but its future is not entirely clear.

Mr Butterfield: “The speedway track is subject to discussions with the city council and the speedway organisers. I have spoken to the speedway organisers. It is under review.”

Ward Councillor Julie Howell said: “The proposed number of houses is not permitted according to the Local Plan.

“The last company that tried to create more housing than permitted was told no and this group will be told the same.

“Residents do not object to a mixed development of houses and leisure, but expect transport infrastructure to be upgraded, roads made safe for pedestrians and green space to be a key feature.

Cllr Howell added: “I feel very sorry for residents who have lost their views and we will fight for ever inch of green space.

“The residents of Orton Southgate and Orton Northgate expect and accept that development will take place but will fight to protect and enhance the communities they have created here.

“We’re very disappointed that these documents were submitted to the council and placed on the council’s planning portal without anyone speaking to local councillors, parish council and local residents first.

She said: “I ask the company to put that right at its earliest opportunity and to work hard to get residents on side to ensure the development is as successful as it possibly can be.”