MP Shailesh Vara fights again plans for garden villages north of Castor in new Peterborough Local Plan
Shailesh Vara, MP for North West Cambridgeshire, has come out fighting against three potential garden village sites on land to the north of the A47 at Castor and Ailsworth.
The land is owned by the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) and has been on Peterborough’s development radar for decades but previous plans were shelved in favour of the Hampton developments.
The relevant sites are now being considered again and Peterborough City Council is recommending them for development in its Local Plan to 2036.
It is believed that the HCA proposes to build three separate garden villages on the sites and these would account for some 2,500 homes, a significant proportion of the 3,600 new homes required by the council in this Local Plan.
The HCA would also retain further land to the west towards Upton which would be developed at a later date. In the end there could be some 5,000 new homes in the area by the end of the development.
Discussions are also taking place as to whether a proposed new Peterborough university might occupy part of the site and a new country park separating the villages of Castor and Ailsworth from the proposed development.
However, Mr Vara, along with local landowners, parish councils and residents, is strongly opposing the proposals which all the parties feel will have a hugely negative impact on the countryside and will set a precedent for significant further housing development to the west of Peterborough.
Mr Vara said: “People move into villages because they want to live in villages. They want a certain way of life away from the hussle and bussle of busy cities and to enjoy more peaceful surroundings.
“The garden villages of Great Kyne could be enormous. They will be significantly bigger than all the local villages combined and will inevitably have negative impacts on Ailsworth, Castor, Upton and Sutton.
“I appreciate that the council has housing targets to meet but these developments will be completely out of keeping with the local area and will set a dangerous precedent for further development in the open countryside.
“I will be working with local councillors, parish councils and residents to strongly oppose these plans.”