Developer confident new planning application for North Westgate is just ‘weeks away’

The developer behind a multi-million pound venture to transform Peterborough’s North Westgate says he is closer than ever to unveiling new plans for the city centre site.

By Paul Grinnell
Thursday, 20th January 2022, 5:00 am
Artists impression of the proposed North Westgate development ENGEMN00120131113135600

Peter Breach, chairman of Hawksworth Securities, says he is just weeks away from submitting a full planning application to Peterborough City Council for a £150 million redevelopment of the 4.6 hectares site.

Mr Breach has been involved in intense pre-application talks with city planners for some months following the Covid-19 pandemic, as he looks to reshape the plans that he first proposed four years ago.

He said: “The pandemic has meant we’ve had to start again with this application.

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Peter Breach, chairman of Hawksworth Securities. EMN-200917-145453009

“We have put in many thousands of hours of work and I think we are now just weeks away from putting in a full application.

He said: “Among the differences will be a higher concentration of residential accommodation.

“The planned hotel has been moved nearer to the crossing close to the Waitrose store off Bourges Boulevard.

“There are changes to the retail and the leisure, restaurants and cafes offerings and there is more public open space

“The retail units will be aimed at smaller businesses rather than chain stores.

“We’re looking at gyms, internet cafes and that sort of thing on the ground floors of the residential units.

“The Brewery Tap pub is secure and there’ll be open space around Westgate Church.

Mr Breach added: “I think we are closer than ever before to getting this off the ground.”

The development is being carried out jointly with Peterborough City Council which has set aside £15 million to purchase of properties in North Westgate in order to allow the development to take place.

Mr Breach said negotiations were still going on with some property owners.

Approval for the principle of development of North Westgate was granted by Peterborough City Council four years ago but aspirations to redevelop the land have abounded since 1971 but to no avail.

The site was even the subject of a High Court battle when Mr Beach tried unsuccessfully to overturn the city council’s approval of a cinema development in the Queensgate shopping centre, which adjoins the North Westgate site. Mr Beach claimed the decision would scupper his own hopes of including a cinema in his development plans.