New £21 million plan for business park on Peterborough farmland could create 1,600 plus jobs

Multi-million pound plans have been drawn up to create a business park on farmland on the edge of Peterborough that could create more than 1,600 jobs.

By Paul Grinnell
Wednesday, 14th July 2021, 5:02 am
Farmland behind Horsey Toll Bridge on Whittlesey Road, Stanground which could be set for development. EMN-210713-162147009

The £21 million venture involves the construction of 20 commercial units of various sizes on 6.3 hectares of agricultural land at Horsey Bridge, Whittlesey Road, Stanground.

Developers Barnack Estates have drawn up the plans which could see the creation of a total of 15,236sq metres of floorspace for a range of uses from general commercial, warehousing to shops and cafes.

The units will be aimed at small and medium-sized businesses with the size of the buildings varying from 265sq metres to 2,000sq metres.

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It is also proposed to include 362 parking spaces.

The outline planning application has been submitted to Peterborough City Council.

While the development would generate a much-needed employment boost for the city, the agricultural site falls outside the current Peterborough Local Plan area, which details where development can take place for the next 15 years.

But the developers say the city has run out of suitable employment sites and new land must be made available if the Peterborough is to go on being able to accommodate job-creating businesses.

Rob Facer, chairman of Barnack Estates said: “My biggest concern is that the application will be refused because the site is not allocated for development in the Local Plan.

“But we think the council should make an exception to the Local Plan because of the need for more employment land to sustain the jobs creation and growth we have seen in the city.”

A report produced by commercial agents Eddisons to accompany the planning application states that there is an ‘urgent unmet need for employment land in Peterborough.’

It adds: “The amount of employment land available until the end of the Plan period will be insufficient.”

It states the city’s policies relating to employment development are, or are becoming, out of date.

And it adds: “Given the unusual circumstances, the principle of development in terms of supporting current high levels of economic growth in the context of insufficient supply is acceptable.

“It is anticipated that the development could support 1,640 jobs.”

The application has also triggered some concerns that the development will add traffic to the A605 and cause pollution and environmental damage.

But the Eddisons’ reports states: “The nearest dwellings are at Cardea to the west and on the south side of Toll Road.

“Significant buffer zones lie between the development and these residential properties, such that their amenity will not be unduly affected by the development.”

Concerns about the amount of available employment land in Peterborough have been growing for some months.

The city’s primary employment zone at Peterborough Gateway was declared full a few weeks ago and work is already underway to free up land nearby - on the northbound side of the A1 - for a second Gateway-type development.

However, plans were also unveiled this week by developers Chancerygate to create a business park off Maskew Avenue, in New England, for a range of commercial units plus three drive-thru restaurants operated by American fast food giants Wendy’s and Taco Bell and coffee chain Costa.