Speaking to members of the city council’s Shareholder Cabinet Committee on Monday, Steve Cox, council executive director for place and economy, said: “Although the previous 12 months have presented significant difficulties due to Covid-19 and travel lockdowns at various times, Medesham Homes has still managed to maintain a reasonably steady programme of activity throughout 2020.
“The first handovers of the year took place in January and February with the completion of the scheme at Belle Vue, Stanground.
“This scheme consisted of 24 two and three bedroom houses and six one bedroom flats.
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“All properties were let within days of handover at affordable rent levels with the on-going management provided by Cross Keys Homes, on behalf of Medesham Homes, under a long-term lease structure.
“We now need to look ahead and plan how we shall be delivering projects into 2021 and 2022.”
Medesham Homes also owns the site at Bretton Court, a property made up of a former council-owned office block and the Roundhead pub.
Plans are being debated to either convert the site into a residential scheme of 45 flats, or a more comprehensive redevelopment which would create between 90 to 120 homes following demolition works.
Both development options have been appraised with regards to the level of future funding required and also the level of recycling of grant funding that can be achieved by re-financing within Medesham itself.
Claire Higgins, Cross Keys chief executive, said: “Following on from our successes in a very challenging year due to Covid-19 we’re now looking forward very much to our future projects – especially at Bretton Court. The relationship between the partners is very good and I’m looking forward to the next stage in our evolution.”
Council deputy leader Cllr Wayne Fitzgerald asked: “Could you let me know the total number of properties that are now occupied at affordable rent and how many can we expect in the future?
“I ask this question because we’re often accused by the opposition of not delivering on our promises to provide affordable rent accommodation, but from what I’m reading in your report that’s simply not the case.”
Howard Bright, principal development manager for Peterborough Investment Partnership, a joint venture between Peterborough City Council and investment specialists IAGH3, replied: “There are currently 94 homes with affordable rents occupied, and with Bretton Court coming this year – subject to the planning application of course – that would virtually double that figure over the next three years.”
Medesham has also agreed ‘heads of terms’ with the council for the purchase of the site at 7-23 London Road to be used as affordable homes, with the conditional contract currently in draft form pending resolution of a couple of outstanding legal points.
Conditional exchange is expected to take place in the near future with the project then moving into the detailed design and planning stage.