Multi-million pound funding for Peterborough affordable homes put on hold after challenge

The scheme at Midland Road while works were progressingThe scheme at Midland Road while works were progressing
The scheme at Midland Road while works were progressing
Multi-million pound funding for affordable homes in Peterborough has been put on hold after a formal challenge.

Peterborough City Council recently announced it was putting forward £6.2 million for 35 new homes in Crowland Road, Eye Green, to get people off the city’s housing list.

The funding would be given to Medesham Homes - a joint housing venture run by the council and housing association Cross Keys Homes - with the homes forecast to become available from October 2019 to July 2020 subject to planning approval.

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Moreover, at the same time the council announced a further £1 million of funding to Medesham for its already completed 29 home development in Midland Road, West Town.

The money was meant to have been issued by the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority. However, the county’s mayoral body said it had been “inadvertently overlooked” that it could not spend money on affordable rent housing, meaning the city council had to step in.

New legislation has now been approved to avoid the same problem in the future.

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The decision to sanction both payments has now been called-in by Labour councillor Darren Fower, meaning it will be debated by a council scrutiny committee which can choose to either approve the original decision or recommend alternative action.

In his written submission to the council Cllr Fower raised a number of concerns, including: “The views of residents of Eye Green and Midland Road may not have been considered. Realistic options could not be made as it is a backdated decision to fund Medesham Homes.

“There has not been proper consultation with residents about the proposals to build these additional dwellings in Eye.”

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He continued: “Peterborough councillors have not been consulted on the council providing additional funding for the housing company following the errors realised.”

Cllr Fower said he wanted to see other options considered.

The call-in will now be held at a later date. If it is rejected the funding will automatically be approved.