It’s no secret that the UK is in the grip of a housing crisis and as one of the fastest growing cities in the country there is a huge demand for housing here in Peterborough. It’s a good sign as it shows people like our city and want to live here.
Luckily we’re already seeing some of the fastest rates of housebuilding in the country, but with our pace of growth accelerating we have to make sure this continues.
So I was pleased this week to hear that Weston Homes has submitted detailed plans for the residential phase of Fletton Quays - 280 high quality city centre apartments - signalling its intention to begin regenerating this important site.
We’re already seeing great success from the creation of the Peterborough Investment Partnership, the council venture with Lucent Strategic Land Fund which is driving the Fletton Quays development, and on Monday cabinet members gave the go-ahead to a similar partnership to build much-needed new homes.
The joint venture with Cross Keys Homes will build all types of housing including affordable, market rent and outright sale homes. It will be funded in part by the money generated through Right to Buy, where residents purchase their council or housing association homes.
Both organisations stand to gain a share of the profits which will either be re-invested to build more homes, or used to support services for residents.
Along with our colleagues at Cross Keys Homes, we are determined to do all we can to provide everyone with the chance to create the home that they desire, whether it’s to rent or buy.
As well as providing a good mix of homes, it’s vital we continue to invest in the city, and encourage others to do the same, so that it’s a place where people want to live and visit.
This week Queensgate was given the green light to press ahead with a development that will include a cinema and restaurant quarter.
Our planning committee approved the outline plans in September 2015, however this decision was judicially reviewed after the applicant of a similar scheme for North Westgate, Hawksworth Securities, claimed that the two schemes and their viability in tandem should have been considered by the planning committee.
This week the judge dismissed Hawksworth’s claim and confirmed what we have maintained from the start, that the decisions made were sound.
This now gives approval for new development in our city centre which is good news for our residents and will make our city an even more attractive prospect for visitors.
We remain committed to the redevelopment of North Westgate and will continue to talk with all landowners about how we can work together to regenerate the site.
If you’re in the city centre this weekend, there are a couple of things happening that might interest you.
On Saturday there will be a celebration to mark International Day of Friendship in Cathedral Square between 11am and 3pm. It’s a great chance for people from all our communities to come together and celebrate the city’s diversity through singing, dancing and other activities.
On Sunday there will be a service to mark the centenary of the death of The Lonely ANZAC, Sergeant Thomas Hunter who was injured in the Battle of the Somme and died at Peterborough Hospital (now the museum).
There’ll be a procession to Peterborough Cathedral from the Town Hall at 12.15pm for a commemoration service at 12.30pm. Following this a blanket of poppies will be laid at the war memorial at 1pm.
I’ve been happily married for 51 years and I’m sad to say that the person I owe a debt of gratitude to for introducing me to my wife passed away at the weekend.
That person was Dereck Brown, who was well known locally for running Brown’s Dance School in Millfield and formerly Max Grist dance club where I met Barbara.
Dereck was a lovely man and a fantastic dancer. I send my heartfelt condolences to his wife Edna and his family.