New Peterborough housing strategy labelled 'most critical piece of work for city council'

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Critical’ new housing strategy will ‘define communities’ in Peterborough, council leader says

Peterborough’s new housing strategy is “probably the most critical piece of work in the city council,” its leader has said.

The collection of policies will “define communities”, Cllr Mohammed Farooq (Peterborough First, Hargate and Hampstead) said at a Peterborough City Council (PCC) cabinet meeting this week, explaining that the types of homes made available will determine local populations.

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As well as two, three and four bedroom houses for families, the city needs flats, bungalows, student accommodation and homes suitable for veterans, care leavers and vulnerable people, he added, to ensure everyone’s needs are met in every part of the city.

Council leader Mohammed FarooqCouncil leader Mohammed Farooq
Council leader Mohammed Farooq

Running from 2024 to 2029, the 48-page housing strategy was approved by Cllr Farooq’s cabinet for public consultation, which will take place between 22nd January and 4th March before it’s formally adopted.

What the plan says

The document names four priorities for housing in Peterborough and various schemes to help achieve them:

Priority 1: Deliver sustainable growth and regeneration

Refresh Peterborough’s Local Plan, adding new locations for house building

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Implement a city-wide design code to enhance health and wellbeing

Develop a prospectus to market available brownfield sites

Review the council’s own building stock with a view to sell and repurpose some sites

Commision a housing and economic needs assessment

Priority 2: Increase the city’s housing stock

Deliver pledge to secure 1,250 affordable homes by 2029

Prevent more people from becoming homeless or living in BnBs

Secure 40 new properties for temporary accommodation

Bring 10 empty homes back into use

Establish a network connecting private landlords with the council

Priority 3: Raise current housing standards

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Re-establish scheme meaning private landlords must obtain a licence in select areas

Establish scheme meaning private landlords must obtain a licence to run an HMO

Commision a survey into current private housing stock

Priority 4: Meet needs for accessible and adapted housing

Produce a needs assessment for Gypsies, Travellers, Travelling Show people and houseboat dwellers

Deliver 25 new single person homes to prevent homelessness

Deliver 15 new homes for refugees

Increase stock of supported and accessible accommodation

Strategy demonstrates ‘honesty and transparency’

Once adopted later this year, the strategy’s progress will be closely monitored, cabinet member for housing Cllr Peter Hiller (Peterborough First, Glinton and Castor) said.

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“Whilst it’s an important document, I’m conscious that best laid plans and strategies sometimes sit on a shelf after creation, rarely seeing the light of day,” he said.

“I think we’ve all experienced that in the past. This will not happen here and to monitor the progress of the housing strategy and its delivery plan, regular views will be undertaken and an annual report will be published, commencing one year after the date of the strategy’s adoption.”

He added that this approach demonstrates “honesty and transparency from this administration”, with “nothing hidden from either the cross-party members of this council or the taxpayers of this city”.

A questionnaire seeking residents’ views on the strategy will be shared by the council later this month.