Controversial plans for affordable homes on Peterborough countryside slammed by council

Plans for 34 affordable homes on Peterborough countryside which were previously described as “an act of piracy” have been robustly rejected by the city council.

Monday, 1st March 2021, 5:07 am

An application from Bourne-based housebuilder Larkfleet Homes for new affordable rent and shared ownership homes on farmland off Lincoln Road in Glinton would cause “substantial” harm, council planning officers have claimed.

In a damning assessment, the authority said “little to no regard” had been paid by Larkfleet to the site’s rural setting, while the firm had failed to “adequately address potential risks of crime and anti-social behaviour” and demonstrate that the development “would not be at unacceptable risk from flooding”.

Other concerns included road safety, no visitor parking and a lack of open space provision, while the properties would not meet national space standards.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The proposed development site in Glinton

The proposed development would have been close to Clare Lodge, a secure all-female children’s home, which had concerned the council’s executive director for people and communities Wendi Ogle-Welbourn who said: “Any development that enables people to approach the perimeter of Clare Lodge will undoubtedly create concern for the young women who live there.

“Having a positive, non-invasive and successful experience whilst living at Clare Lodge is surely reason not to continue with the proposed plans which have been submitted by Larkfleet.”

Further objections were also raised by the council’s tree and open space officers, highways services and the local drainage authority, while there were 170 objections raised with the authority.

One of the objections came from Glinton Parish Council whose chair is Cllr John Holdich, leader of the city council.

When the proposals were first revealed Cllr Holdich described them as “an act of piracy,” while he highlighted the fact that a previous planning application on the site from Larkfleet had been refused by the council with an appeal by the company later being rejected by a government inspector.

Those plans had been for 78 homes as well as sporting facilities for Glinton & Northborough Football Club, but it was ruled that development should not take place on the countryside as it went against the council’s policy, while the site had also not been earmarked for housing.

Reacting to the news the latest plans had been rejected, Cllr Holdich said: “This a victory for local representation and democracy. Around 100 villagers attended a public meeting on the first application on this site and let me and my fellow councillors know their feelings

“There are many planning reasons against this application and it added nothing for the benefit of the village or the social cohesion which we cherish.”

The council leader also predicted the latest planning refusal would be appealed which would “waste public money”.

Larkfleet has previously stated that it “always take particular care to ensure our homes meet local housing needs and blend in with their existing surroundings, with an emphasis on sustainability”.

The company has been approached for comment.