Latest plans for 112 apartments of former Solstice site in Peterborough recommended for approval despite objections

Several parties have objected based on the impact the development will have on the views of Peterborough Cathedral.

By Ben Jones
Friday, 15th July 2022, 5:00 am
How the development is expected to look.
How the development is expected to look.

The latest plans, that would see 112 apartments created on the site of the former Solstice nightclub in Peterborough, have been recommended for approval by planning officers.

Previously, Glenrowan Homes had obtained prior approval application for an 133-home development; fresh plans were later submitted to reduce this to 124. These were reduced again following further talks with officers.

The application also includes two retail units and remains for apartments solely for private use rather than for part private, part student use when the plans were originally drawn up.

There are still objections to the plans though, Peterborough City Council’s Urban Design Officer has expressed concerns regarding the “scale, massing and the lack of detailed design, particularly when viewed from the north east.”

The U-shaped building is planned to have a maximum footprint of 69m x 32m, with a tower reaching up to 29.1m and two lower wings at 9.15m high.

The council’s Conservation Officer has also objected to the “poor design” and “unacceptable bulk to north-west elevation seen when entering Northminster from Broadway.”

The officer, Historic England and the Peterborough Civic Society have all objected on the grounds of the impact the development would have on the views of the Grade I listed Cathedral.

Historic England said: “The revised proposals, for an even greater quantum of development within the setting of the Cathedral, would not only cause a high level of harm to views of the Cathedral and nearby conservation areas, but the level of that overall harm would be exacerbated due to the detailed design of the scheme; including the scale and massing of the 10-storey block, its monolithic appearance, the lack of articulation of the elevations and the change of materials from the approved scheme.

"Historic England remain of the view that the site of The Solstice nightclub could be redeveloped without causing harm to the historic environment and recommend that this revised application be refused.”

The Civic Society added: “There is insufficient regard to its impact on views of the Cathedral by reason of the height and massing of the proposed uninspiring block.

"The significantly increased height and footprint of the tower block compared with the eight-storey building approved last year result in greater impact on cathedral views. In addition, the site is closer to Stanley Recreation Ground than

the market site so the impact on cathedral views is magnified relative to the impact of the 10-storey development approved for the market site. The overall consequence of this revised scheme is that the impact on cathedral views will be greater than with the scheme approved last year.”

Officers have recommended that the planning committee approve the application, however, when they meet on Tuesday (July 19) at 1:30pm. The report can be viewed in full on Peterborough City Council’s website.

Officers have said that they have weighed the decision in terms of relevant planning policies, including the fact that “the application site is situated within the city Core, would provide a mix of residential, retail and restaurant uses. As such the proposed development would introduce a mix of residential development into the city core and go towards enhancing the vitality and viability of the city centre.”

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