New bid to revive £150 million regeneration plan for Peterborough's North Westgate

Urgent call for council to renew ties with developer
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A developer behind a £150 million plan to transform North Westgate is seeking talks with Peterborough City Council bosses in a bid to revive the project.

Peter Breach, chairman of Hawksworth Securities, hopes to secure a meeting with planning chiefs top discuss the future of the derelict seven hectare site.

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He has submitted a written request for a meeting with council chiefs in the wake of city councillors’ no confidence vote in former council leader, Cllr Wayne Fitzgerald and his replacement by Cllr Mohammed Farouq.

This image shows the North Westgate site in Peterborough.This image shows the North Westgate site in Peterborough.
This image shows the North Westgate site in Peterborough.

It was Cllr Fitzgerald who in March this year issued a ‘sell up at a fair price or face compulsory purchase’ challenge to landowners in North Westgate in a bid to end a 30 year stalemate over the site’s development.

A collaboration agreement between the council and Hawksworth Securities for the development of the site had been terminated by the local authority in 2020.

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Mr Breach said: “We have written to the council seeking a meeting to discuss the North Westgate regeneration and to see if we can sort out any issues and resolve anything that is outstanding and also look at resuming the collaboration agreement.

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Mr Breach, whose company is the largest landowner in the North Westgate regeneration zone, has been trying to develop the site for about 30 years.

His plans for a hotel, commercial and residential development and a cinema were approved by the city council in 2018. But that permission elapsed a couple of years later after the company failed to submit details about so-called ‘reserved matters’.

But Mr Breach said new plans for North Westgate were likely to be different from his earlier proposals.

He said: “The marketplace has continued to change over the years.

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"The demand for large office space has evaporated since the Covid-19 pandemic and there is also unlikely to be a huge need for smaller offices.

"New plans are likely to have more residential units with ground floor units offering a mix of activities from retail to bars and restaurants.

He said it was unlikely that the plans would feature a major cinema but there could be scope for a venue with smaller screens to cater for a demand for specialist or independent films.