The Cardea development in Stanground is set to receive another 153 homes, but only five per cent will be classed as affordable.
An application from Persimmon Homes was unanimously approved by Peterborough City Council’s planning committee yesterday (Tuesday, July 3) despite 85 objections sent in by residents, including fears about a shortage of infrastructure and the levels of traffic.
The lack of new affordable housing - which is below the council’s 30 per cent target - was accepted because otherwise the scheme would not be commercially viable, the committee was told.
Committee member Cllr Peter Hiller, who is also cabinet member for housing, said it was a shame not to have more affordable homes, but noted: “The development is already one of the cheapest and most affordable in the city.”
However, Cllr Stuart Martin said: “I’m disappointed yet again we are being asked to approve an application that falls short on affordable housing. It’s part of our council policy for a reason.”
Cllr Martin added that the council would “lose an appeal” if it rejected the application.
This is because a previous application for 80 homes in Barnack, which the committee rejected, was overturned on appeal because the Planning Inspectorate ruled that the council had not “robustly” shown it had an adequate five year housing supply.
Cllr Hiller added that allowing for more homes in Cardea would help “hugely” to show an adequate housing supply.
He added: “We were tripped up earlier this year by that Barnack predatory appeal. It was not an embarrassing situation for this council, it was a very sad occasion and the ramifications need to be looked at. It could happen anywhere.”
The committee’s decision means more than 1,600 homes in Cardea have now either been built or received planning permission.
The development also has its own local centre, primary school (St Michael’s Church School), community centre/sports pavilion, playing fields and an equipped area of play.
Addressing the committee, ward councillors Ray Bisby and Brian Rush praised Persimmon for addressing the issues they have raised with the developers.
Anne Dew from Persimmon told the committee: “It’s important to emphasise the role Cardea has in meeting housing need in Peterborough. It’s one of the most affordable places to live and will ensure the council can demonstrate its five year housing supply.
“Cardea is a sustainable, affordable location within Peterborough.”
Committee member Cllr Amjad Iqbal noted that the ward councillors had not been critical of the plans, adding: “I found the applicant to be credible.”